Meeting: Working Group

Integrating evolutionary theory with behavioral economics

Date5-May-2011 ~ 7-May-2011
ProjectIntegrating evolutionary theory with behavioral economics
SummaryThere is widespread agreement that economic theory must become based on a more accurate conception of human nature to successfully guide public policy. That is the objective of behavioral economics, which has become prominent within the larger field of economics. However, behavioral economics needs to become more broadly based in the human behavioral sciences, which in turn must be grounded in evolutionary theory. The purpose of this working group is to properly ground the field of behavioral economics in evolutionary theory. This objective, in turn, will require an integration of subfields within the human behavioral sciences, including evolutionary psychology, cognitive psychology, applied behavioral analysis, sociology, cultural anthropology, and neurobiology. These subfields need to be brought together before they can be related to an applied science such as behavioral economics. This working group is one of three that emerged from the recent NESCent catalysis meeting titled �The Nature of Regulation: How Evolutionary Theory Can Inform the Regulation of Large-scale Human Social Interactions� which was organized in collaboration with the Evolution Institute. The EI has provided an organizational structure that includes a large community of interest (COI) in addition to the catalysis meeting participants. The working groups will take advantage of the same organizational structure, allowing the 10-12 people who work intensively on the project to interact with the other working groups and an engaged audience of scientists, economists, and policy makers across disciplines.