Santa Fe Institute Professor Sam Bowles and Associate Professor Herb Gintis were selected by Clarivate’s Web of Science group as 2022 Citation Laureates “for providing evidence and models that expand our understanding of economic behavior, not just self-interest, but also reciprocity, altruism, and other forms of social cooperation.”
Bowles and Gintis have worked together since the late 1960s when, at a request from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. responded when he began to include economic issues more in his activism. They published not only in economics, but also in biology, psychology, anthropology, and archaeology. Most notably, her 1976 work, Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life, has been published in multiple languages, and its English-language version has been cited more than 18,000 times.
Outside the traditional confines of economics, Bowles and Gintis have examined how our environments and cultures, and particularly how we earn our living, have shaped our social values—questions normally left to psychologists and sociologists. In her 2012 book, A Cooperative Species: The Evolution of Human Reciprocity” They provide models and evidence from population genetics, archaeology, and anthropology that suggest our “better angels”—altruism and ethical motivations—may have a genetic basis.
“Economists have embraced the amoral and selfish since John Stuart Mill Homo economius as a model of an economic agent. But nobody – including Mill – believed that people were really like that,” says Bowles. “In recent years, behavioral experiments conducted across world cultures and evolutionary game theory have added a new set of exotic-named economic agents homo altruisticus, Homo sameand Homo reciprocans.”
Bowles and Gintis join 18 other 2022 Citation Laureates from four countries. According to the Web of Science, the Laureate award honors world-class researchers whose work typically ranks in the top 0.01% of most cited publications – demonstrating research influence comparable to that of Nobel Laureates.
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