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An Evolutionary View of Family Conflict and Cooperation

By Theodore C. Bergstrom, Cherie Raznick and Professor Economics


What can evolutionary theory tell us? What can we expect our evolutionary history to tell us about human reproductive and family life? Each of us is a descendant of an unbroken line of males and females who survived to adulthood and somehow managed to mate and produce at least one offspring who also survived to adulthood, mated, and so on. For most economists, the hypothesis that human preferences are designed to maximize reproductive success even over some long horizon seems so unlikely as to receive no consideration at all. Indeed the axiomatic foundations of economists ’ consumer theory would give little offense to the most devout of creationists. If pressed on this question, scientifically inclined economists tend to take the view that we humans are different from the rest of the anima

Year: 2003
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