1st Edition

The Evolutionary Origins of Markets
How Evolution, Psychology and Biology Have Shaped the Economy

ISBN 9780815387190
Published November 21, 2019 by Routledge
140 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Our elaborate market exchange system owes its existence not to our calculating brain or insatiable self-centeredness, but rather to our sophisticated and nuanced human sociality and to the inherent rationality built into our emotions. The modern economic system is helped a lot more than hindered by our innate social instincts that support our remarkable capacity for building formal and informal institutions.

The book integrates the growing body of experimental evidence on human nature scattered across a variety of disciplines from experimental economics to social neuroscience into a coherent and original narrative about the extent to which market (or impersonal exchange) relations are reflective of the basic human sociality that was originally adapted to a more tribal existence.

An accessible resource, this book will appeal to students of all areas of economics, including Behavioral Economics and Neuro-Economics, Microeconomics, and Political Economy.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Part I: Social Brain, Chapter 1: The Myth of The Dissociative Identities, Chapter 2: Why Wouldn’t Chimpanzees Wear Sunglasses While Playing Poker? Part II: Economizing Brain, Chapter 3: Cognitively Lazy, Chapter 4: Emotionally Smart, Part III: Interactive Minds, Chapter 5: Reciprocal brain, Chapter 6: Mind Reading, Part IV: Key Innate Competencies, Chapter 7: Emotional path to willpower, Chapter 8: Sapiens See, Sapiens Do (Monkey? Not So Much.), Part V: Pursuit of Identities, Tribes, and Emotional Connections, Chapter 9: Human Sociality in the Market, Epilogue, Index

View More



Rojhat Avşar is an associate professor of economics at Columbia College Chicago. His research and teaching interests include social behavior, ethical norms, economic discourse, origin of human institutions, and political economy.


"An important further step in the unification of diverse approaches into a coherent, consilient social exchange science." - Gerald A. Cory Jr., Author, Former Senior Fellow, San Jose State University, USA

"The current cutting-edge fields of evolutionary and complexity sciences, cognitive, neuro, brain and behavioural sciences, biological analogies, Institutionalism, Socio-Economics, and the different related computational strands, still are often only loosely connected. Those working in these fields will find this book providing a major step forward by integrating our knowledge on the evolution of human sociality, its cognitive, emotive, and behavioral foundations. While the literature in these fields has been exploding, here we have a most welcome integrating transdisciplinary work. Applying these stocks of knowledge to the foundations and evolution of "markets", socio-economists and social scientists of all perspectives will find how to make deeper sense of what we have used to call the social and institutional "embeddedness of markets". A highly recommended book. " Prof. Wolfram Elsner, University of Bremen, Germany