1st Edition

Economic Biology and Behavioral Economics The Prophesy of Alfred Marshall

By Gerald A. Cory Jr. Copyright 2023
    198 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Economic Biology and Behavioral Economics: The Prophesy of Alfred Marshall explores the prophesy of Alfred Marshall, the grand synthesizer of neoclassical economics, that the "Mecca of the economist lies in economic biology".

    The book presents the proof of that prophesy through examination and establishment of the fundamental biological science necessary and then applying that science to the examination of current economic theory. In doing so, the book focuses primarily on the fundamentals of neoclassical economic theory— which is the reigning theory and the general framework of which is taught as "science" in first courses in college economics. These courses are at best an idealization, if not an ideology, of the discipline—presented to fresh minds misleadingly as confirmed science. The book examines the bases and the history of these idealizations, points to the sources of their error from the biological perspective and suggests a path forward for the discipline. Through this process, the book demonstrates the power of the biological perspective anticipated by Marshall.

    This book provides invaluable reading for anyone interested in the future of economics and economic theory, and particularly those interested in behavioral economics and neuroeconomics.

    Chapter 1: Introduction
    Part 1: The Biological Fundamentals
    Chapter 2: Foundations: Evolutionary Brain Science in the 21st Century
    Chapter 3: Our Mammalian Heritage: A Dual Motive Neurobehavioural Model
    Chapter 4: The Dynamic Algorithms of Social Behaviour
    Chapter 5: The Physiology of Social Behaviour
    Chapter 6: The Organic, Homeostatic Equation of our Neural Architecture
    Chapter 7: Physics vs. Social Science: Some Differences
    Part 2: Biological Linkages to the Discipline of Economics
    Chapter 8: Family, Gift, and Market
    Chapter 9: Adam Smith and the Market
    Chapter 10: The Invisible Hand as a Neural Algorithm
    Chapter 11: General Equilibrium Theory: From Newtonian Physics to Organic Dynamics
    Chapter 12: The Social Brain and the Idealized Version of Price Theory
    Chapter 13: Calculus and Neural Algorithms in Price Theory
    Chapter 14: Further Application of the Basic Homeostatic Equation to Economics
    Chapter 15: Self-Interest and the Fallacy of Self-Reference
    Chapter 16: Hayek: Wishful Thinking and a not so Spontaneous Order
    Chapter 17: Nash: Modeling Equilibrium with Beautiful Mind, Beautiful Equations
    Part 3: The Wider Context
    Chapter 18: The Emergence and Promise of Neuroeconomics
    Chapter 19: The Larger Context: The Stiff Upper Lip, Original Sin, and Western Science
    Chapter 20: Evolutionary Neuroethology and Inclusive Fitness
    Chapter 21: Social Exchange and the Structure of Society
    Chapter 22: Conclusion


    Gerald A. Cory, Jr., Former Senior Fellow, Graduate Studies and Research, San Jose State University (Retired)