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Microeconomics : Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution

Microeconomics : Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution - 04 edition

ISBN13: 978-0691126388

Cover of Microeconomics : Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution 04 (ISBN 978-0691126388)
ISBN13: 978-0691126388
ISBN10: 0691126380
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 04
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published: 2004
International: No
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Microeconomics : Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution - 04 edition

ISBN13: 978-0691126388

Samuel Bowles

ISBN13: 978-0691126388
ISBN10: 0691126380
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 04
Publisher: Princeton University Press

Published: 2004
International: No
Summary

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.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Prologue: Economics and the Wealth of Nations and People

Part I: Coordination and Conflict: Generic Social Interactions

Chapter One: Social Interactions and Institutional Design
Chapter Two: Spontaneous Order: The Self-organization of Economic Life
Chapter Three: Preferences and Behavior
Chapter Four: Coordination Failures and Institutional Responses
Chapter Five: Dividing the Gains to Cooperation: Bargaining and Rent Seeking

Part II : Competition and Cooperation: The Institutions of Capitalism

Chapter Six: Utopian Capitalism: Decentralized Coordination
Chapter Seven: Exchange: Contracts, Norms, and Power
Chapter Eight: Employment, Unemployment, and Wages
Chapter Nine: Credit Markets, Wealth Constraints, and Allocative Inefficiency
Chapter Ten: The Institutions of a Capitalist Economy

Part III: Change: The Coevolution of Institutions and Preferences

Chapter Eleven: Institutional and Individual Evolution
Chapter Twelve: Chance, Collective Action, and Institutional Innovation
Chapter Thirteen: The Coevolution of Institutions and Preferences

Part IV: Conclusion

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

Problem Sets
Additional Readings
Works Cited
Index

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