Herbert Gintis

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Herbert Gintis
Born February 11, 1940
Philadelphia, PA
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Economics
Institutions Santa Fe Institute, Central European University
Doctoral advisor Arthur Smithies, James Duesenberry
Known for Contested exchange, behavioral game theory, strong reciprocity, human capital, unification of the behavioral sciences, Markov models of general market dynamics
Influences Samuel Bowles

Herbert Gintis (born February 11, 1940 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American economist, behavioral scientist, educator, and author. He is notable for his theoretical contributions to sociobiology, especial altruism, cooperation, epistemic game theory, gene-culture coevolution, efficiency wages, strong reciprocity, and human capital theory.

Gintis obtained his B.A. in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1961. The following year, he obtained an M.A. in mathematics from Harvard University. In 1969, he obtained a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard after acceptance of his dissertation, Alienation and power: towards a radical welfare economics.

Gintix works extensively with economist Samuel Bowles. Both Gintis and Bowles were asked by Martin Luther King Jr. to write papers for the 1968 Poor People's March.[citation needed] Gintis and others were also 1968 co-founders of Union for Radical Political Economists.[1][2]

Gintis is currently professor at Central European University, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and external professor at the Santa Fe Institute.


Gintis is an editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books, some of which include:

  • (2011), The Dynamics of Pure Market Exchange, April 2011
  • (2011), Common Knowledge of Rationality is Self-Contradictory, forthcoming, Ken Binmore and Samir Okasha, Evolution, Cooperation, and Rationality (Oxford University Press)
  • (2011), Hayek's Contribution to a Reconstruction of Economic Theory, forthcoming, Hayek and Behavioral Economics (Macmillan, Palgrave)
  • (2011). with Samuel Bowles, A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and its Evolution (Princeton University Press).
  • (2010), with Robert Boyd and Samuel Bowles, Coordinated Contingent Punishment is Group-Beneficial and Can Proliferate When Rare, Science, 328, 617.
  • (2010), Reflections on Darwinian Liberalism, Cato Unbound, July 21
  • (2010), Review of Ken Binmore, Rational Decisions, The Economic Journal
  • (2010), Social Norms as Choreography, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 9,3
  • (2010), Gene-Culture Coevolution and the Nature of Human Sociality, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
  • (2010), Behavioral Ethics, in Edward Slingerland and Mark Collard (eds),Integrating Science and the Humanities: Interdisciplinary Approaches
  • (2010), Experimental Economics Will Foster a Renaissance of Economic Theory, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
  • (2010), with Catherine Eckel, Blaming the Messenger: Notes on the Current State of Experimental Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
  • (2010), Animal Spirits or Complex Dynamics: A Review of Akerlof and Shiller, Journal of Economic Psychology
  • (2009). The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences (Princeton University Press).
  • (2009). "A New Nash Equilibrium Refinement: The Local Best Response Criterion," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.
  • (2009). with Jeffrey Carpenter, Samuel Bowles, and Sung Ha Hwang, "Strong Reciprocity and Team Production," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.
  • (2009). with Ross Cressman and Thijs Ruijgrok, "Subgame Perfection in Evolutionary Dynamics with Recurrent Mutations," in J. Barkley Rosser (ed.) Handbook of Research on Complexity, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar: 353—368.
  • (2008). "Cooperation and Punishment," Science 7 March: 1345—1346.
  • (2007). "The Evolution of Private Property," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 64,1: 1--16.
  • (2007). "A Framework for the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences," Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30: 1--61.
  • (2007). "The Dynamics of General Equilibrium," Economic Journal, 117: 1280—1309.
  • (2007). with Ernst Fehr, "Human Nature and Social Cooperation: Analytical and Experimental Foundations," Annual Review of Sociology, 33: 43—64.
  • (2007). with Samuel Bowles, "Homo Economicus and Zoon Politicon: Behavioral Game Theory and Political Behavior," Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis.
  • (2006). "The Emergence of a Price System from Decentralized Bilateral Exchange," Contributions to Theoretical Economics 6,1,13.
  • (2006). with Samuel Bowles, "Evolutionary Origins of Collective Action," in Donald Wittman and Barry Weingast, Oxford Handbook of Political Economy (Oxford University Press)
  • (2005). with Samuel Bowles and Melissa Osborne, Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success (Princeton University Press)
  • (2005). with Samuel Bowles, "The Evolutionary Origins of Collective Action," Oxford Handbook of Political Economy.
  • (2005). with Samuel Bowles, Robert Boyd, and Ernst Fehr, Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: On the Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life (Cambridge, MIT Press).
  • (2005). et al. "'Economic Man' in Cross-cultural Perspective: Ethnography and Experiments from 15 Small-scale Societies," Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28: 795—855.
  • (2004). with Joe Henrich, Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer and Ernst Fehr, Foundations of Human Sociality: Ethnography and Experiments in Fifteen Small-scale Societies (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  • (2004). "Economic Interests: Do Strangers Cooperate when they have to Work Together?" Nature 431 (16 September):245—246.
  • (2004). with Samuel Bowles, "The Evolution of Strong Reciprocity: Cooperation in Heterogeneous Populations" Theoretical Population Biology 61: 17—28.
  • (2003). with Samuel Bowles, "Persistent Parochialism: Trust and Exclusion in Ethnic Networks," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 55,1: 1--23.
  • (2003). with Samuel Bowles, Robert Boyd and Ernst Fehr, "Explaining Altruistic Behavior in Humans," Evolution & Human Behavior 24:153-172.
  • (2003). with Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles and Peter J. Richerson,"Evolution of Altruistic Punishment" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100,6: 3531—3535.
  • (2003). "Solving The Puzzle of Prosociality," Rationality and Society 15,2.
  • (2003). "The Hitchhiker's Guide to Altruism: Genes-Culture Coevolution and the Internalization of Norms," Journal of Theoretical Biology 220,4: 407—418.
  • (2002). with Samuel Bowles, "Homo Reciprocans: Altruistic Punishment of Free Riders," Nature 415, 10 January: 125—128.
  • (2002). with Samuel Bowles, "Intergenerational Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives 16,3:3--30.
  • (2002). with Christina M. Fong and Samuel Bowles, "Reciprocity and the Welfare State," in Jean Mercier-Ythier, Serge Kolm and Louis-Andre Gerard-Varet," (eds.) Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism (Amsterdam: Elsevier).
  • (2002). with Samuel Bowles, "Social Capital and Community Governance," Economic Journal 112,483: 419—436.
  • (2001). with Samuel Bowles and Melissa Osborne, "The Determinants of Individual Earnings: Skills, Preferences, and Schooling," Journal of Economic Literature, 39,4: 1137-1176.
  • (2001). with Eric Alden Smith and Samuel Bowles, "Costly Signaling and Cooperation," Journal of Theoretical Biology 213: 103-119.
  • (2001). et al. "Cooperation, Reciprocity and Punishment in Fifteen Small-scale Societies," American Economic Review 91: 73—78.
  • (2001). with Samuel Bowles, "Contested Exchange: A New Microeconomics of Capitalism," in Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Makoto Itoh, and Nobuharu Yokokawa (eds.) Capitalism in Evolution (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar): 21—35.
  • (2001) with Samuel Bowles, "The Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Status: Education, Class, and Genetics," in N. J. Smelser and Paul Baltes, eds., International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Oxford, Pergamon).
  • (2000). "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," Journal of Theoretical Biology 206: 169—179.
  • (2000). Game Theory Evolving (Princeton: Princeton University Press)
  • (2000). with Samuel Bowles, "Walrasian Economics in Retrospect" Quarterly Journal of Economics: 1411-1439.
  • (2000). "Beyond Homo Economicus," Ecological Economics, 35,3: 311—322.
  • (1999). with Samuel Bowles, "Is Inequality Passe?" Boston Review 23,6: 4--35.
  • (1999). with Samuel Bowles, Recasting Egalitarianism: New Rules for Markets, States, and Communities, Erik Olin Wright (ed.), (New York: Verso).
  • (1998). with Samuel Bowles, "The Moral Economy of Community: Structured Populations and the Evolution of Prosocial Norms" Evolution & Human Behavior 19,1: 3--25.
  • (1998). with Pranab Bardhan and Samuel Bowles, "Wealth Inequality, Credit Constraints, and Economic Performance" Anthony Atkinson and Francois Bourguignon (eds.), in Handbook of Income Distribution (North Holland).
  • (1998). with Samuel Bowles, "How Communities Govern: The Structural Basis of Prosocial Norms," in Louis Putterman and Avner Ben-Ner (eds.) Economics, Values and Organizations (New York: Cambridge University Press).
  • (1997). "A Markov Model of Production, Trade, and Money: Theory and Artificial Life Simulation," Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory (3,1): 19—41.
  • (1996). with Samuel Bowles, "Efficient Redistribution: New Rules for Markets, States, and Communities," Politics & Society 24,4: 307-342.
  • (1995). with Samuel Bowles, "Productivity Enhancing Egalitarian Policies," International Labour Review, 134,4-5: 559-585.
  • (1995). Herbert Gintis, "The Political Economy of School Choice," Teachers College Record 96,3.
  • (1993). with Samuel Bowles, "The Revenge of Homo Economicus: Contested Exchange and the Revival of Political Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives 7,1: 83—102.
  • (1991). "Where Did Schumpeter Go Wrong?: Understanding Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy," Challenge.
  • (1989). "Financial Markets and the Political Structure of the Enterprise," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 11: 311—322.
  • (1988). with Samuel Bowles, "Contested Exchange: Political Economy and Modern Economic Theory," American Economic Review 78,2: 145—150.
  • (1986). with Samuel Bowles Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Theory, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Theory (New York: Basic Books).
  • (1983). "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy Forty Years Later," Journal of Economic Literature.
  • (1980). "Theory, Practice, and the Tools of Communicative Discourse," Socialist Review 50-51: 189—232.
  • (1978). with Barry Clark, "Rawlsian Justice and Economic Systems," Philosophy and Public Affairs: 302—325.
  • (1976). with Samuel Bowles, Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life (New York: Basic Books).
  • (1976). "The Nature of the Labor Exchange of the Theory of Capitalist Production," Review of Radical Political Economics 8,2: 36—54.
  • (1975). with Samuel Bowles, "The Problem with Human Capital Theory," American Economic Review 65,2: 74—82.
  • (1975). "Welfare Economics and Individual Development: A Reply to Talcott Parsons," Quarterly Journal of Economics (June).
  • (1974). "Welfare Criteria with Endogenous Preferences: The Economics of Education," International Economic Review 15,2: 415—429.
  • (1973). with Samuel Bowles, "IQ in the U.S. Class Structure: A Statistical Analysis," Social Policy 3.
  • (1972). with Christopher Jencks, et al., Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and Schooling in America (New York: Basic Books).
  • (1972). "Consumer Behavior and the Concept of Sovereignty," American Economic Review 62,2: 267—278.
  • (1972). "A Radical Analysis of Welfare Economics and Individual Development," Quarterly Journal of Economics 86: 572-599.
  • (1971). "Education, Technology, and the Characteristics of Worker Productivity," American Economic Review 61,2: 266-279.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arestis, P.; Sawyer, M.C. (2000). A biographical dictionary of dissenting economists. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 226. ISBN 1-85898-560-9. 
  2. ^ Colander, David; Holt, Richard and Rosser, J. Barkley, Jr. (2004). The Changing Face of Economics: Conversations with Cutting Edge Economist. University of Michigan Press. p. 76. ISBN 0-472-06877-6. 

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