Bowles/Gintis: A Cooperative Species

Die Verhaltensökonomen Samuel Bowles und Herbert Gintis untermauern in ihrem Buch "A Cooperative Species" (Princeton University Press 2011) die empirisch fundierte Kritik am universalen Homo-oeconomicus Muster und auf ihm basierenden ökonomischen Modellen, Theorien und Politiken.
Nach der Präsentation von zahlreichen, formal anspruchsvollen Studien, Experimenten und Modellen kommen sie zum Schluss:
"Modern states and global markets have provided conditions for mutualistic cooperation among strangers on a massive scale. But altruistic cooperation remains an essential requirement of economic and social life. The reason is that neither private contract or governmental fiat singly or in combination provides an adequate basis for the governance of modern societies. [...]
Where contracting is absent or incomplete, the logic of Adam Smith's invisible hand no longer holds. Decentralized markets fail to implement efficient allocations. But governments typically lack the information, and often the motivation, necessary to provide adequate governance where markets fail or are absent.

We now know from laboratory experiments that subjects in marketlike situations with complete contracts tend to behave like the Homo oeconomicus of the Adam Smith of The Wealth of Nations, but when their contracts are not complete their behavior fortunately resembles more the virtuous citizens of the Adam Smith of The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Thus, where the invisible hand fails, the handshake may succeed. [...] Thus, social preferences such as a concern for the well-being of others and for fair procedures remain essential to sustaining society and enhancing the quality of life." (S. 199 f.)

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