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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 425570
Title Joint determination of biological encephalization, economic specialization
Author(s) Horan, R.D.; Shogren, J.F.; Bulte, E.H.
Source Resource and Energy Economics 33 (2011)2. - ISSN 0928-7655 - p. 426 - 439.
Department(s) Development Economics Group
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) hominid evolution - red-queen - intelligence - population - systems - coevolution - exclusion - selection - trade - labor
Abstract In this paper, we develop a paleoeconomic model of the co-evolution of economic specialization and encephalization-the common physiological measure of intelligence as reflected by brain mass relative to total body mass. Our economic analysis links ecological and social intelligence theories of increased encephalization in early hominins through a model in which both economic and ecological feedbacks jointly determined the evolutionary incentives. We focus on degrees of specialization affected by coordination costs with and without market exchange. Our results suggest encephalization would be a process characterized by diminishing returns to behavioral advances. In terms of the long-running debate in economics over whether specialization increases or decreases intelligence, our results suggest from an evolutionary perspective the answer depends on economic/social institutions and how these influence ecological interactions.
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