Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution / Edition 1

Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution / Edition 1

by Samuel Bowles
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691126380

ISBN-13: 9780691126388

Pub. Date: 01/16/2006

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

In this novel introduction to modern microeconomic theory, Samuel Bowles returns to the classical economists' interest in the wealth and poverty of nations and people, the workings of the institutions of capitalist economies, and the coevolution of individual preferences and the structures of markets, firms, and other institutions. Using recent advances in

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Overview

In this novel introduction to modern microeconomic theory, Samuel Bowles returns to the classical economists' interest in the wealth and poverty of nations and people, the workings of the institutions of capitalist economies, and the coevolution of individual preferences and the structures of markets, firms, and other institutions. Using recent advances in evolutionary game theory, contract theory, behavioral experiments, and the modeling of dynamic processes, he develops a theory of how economic institutions shape individual behavior, and how institutions evolve due to individual actions, technological change, and chance events. Topics addressed include institutional innovation, social preferences, nonmarket social interactions, social capital, equilibrium unemployment, credit constraints, economic power, generalized increasing returns, disequilibrium outcomes, and path dependency.

Each chapter is introduced by empirical puzzles or historical episodes illuminated by the modeling that follows, and the book closes with sets of problems to be solved by readers seeking to improve their mathematical modeling skills. Complementing standard mathematical analysis are agent-based computer simulations of complex evolving systems that are available online so that readers can experiment with the models. Bowles concludes with the time-honored challenge of "getting the rules right," providing an evaluation of markets, states, and communities as contrasting and yet sometimes synergistic structures of governance. Must reading for students and scholars not only in economics but across the behavioral sciences, this engagingly written and compelling exposition of the new microeconomics moves the field beyond the conventional models of prices and markets toward a more accurate and policy-relevant portrayal of human social behavior.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691126388
Publisher:
Russell Sage Foundation
Publication date:
01/16/2006
Series:
Roundtable Series in Behavioral Economics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
608
Sales rank:
896,973
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents


Preface ix

Prologue: Economics and the Wealth of Nations and People 1

Part I: Coordination and Conflict: Generic Social Interactions 21

Chapter One: Social Interactions and Institutional Design 23

Chapter Two: Spontaneous Order: The Self-organization of Economic Life 56

Chapter Three: Preferences and Behavior 93

Chapter Four: Coordination Failures and Institutional Responses 127

Chapter Five: Dividing the Gains to Cooperation: Bargaining and Rent Seeking 167

Part II : Competition and Cooperation: The Institutions of Capitalism 203

Chapter Six: Utopian Capitalism: Decentralized Coordination 205

Chapter Seven: Exchange: Contracts, Norms, and Power 233

Chapter Eight: Employment, Unemployment, and Wages 267

Chapter Nine: Credit Markets, Wealth Constraints, and Allocative Inefficiency 299

Chapter Ten: The Institutions of a Capitalist Economy 331

Part III: Change: The Coevolution of Institutions and Preferences 363

Chapter Eleven: Institutional and Individual Evolution 365

Chapter Twelve: Chance, Collective Action, and Institutional Innovation 402

Chapter Thirteen: The Coevolution of Institutions and Preferences 437

Part IV: Conclusion 471

Chapter Fourteen: Economic Governance: Markets, States, and Communities 473

Problem Sets 502

Additional Readings 529

Works Cited 537

Index 571

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