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Journal of Economic Literature - Book Review

JEL Volume. 50, Issue 3 | leftPrevious Review Next Review right

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Book(s) Reviewed

A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis

Published By: Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 978-0-691-15125-0
Date of Publication: 2011


Book Review Detail

Reviewed by: Matthijs van Veelen of University of Amsterdam
Review DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.3.791.r4
Review Pages: 797-803

Book Review Abstract

Matthijs van Veelen of University of Amsterdam reviews "A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution" by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis. The EconLit abstract of the reviewed work begins: Explores why humans cooperate in large numbers to advance projects for the common good and examines the cultural, biological, and other processes that explain how humans became exceptionally cooperative. Discusses the evolution of altruism in humans; social preferences; the sociobiology of human cooperation; cooperative Homo economicus; ancestral human society; the coevolution of institutions and behaviors; parochialism, altruism, and war; the evolution of strong reciprocity; socialization; social emotions; and human cooperation and its evolution. Bowles is Head of the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute and teaches economics at the University of Siena. Gintis is at the Santa Fe Institute, the Central European University, and the University of Siena. Name and subject indexes.


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Book Review Authors

Matthijs van Veelen of University of Amsterdam


JEL Classifications

B52: Institutional; Evolutionary
D01: Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
D64: Altruism; Philanthropy
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology


Journal of Economic Literature


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