Dr. Sam Bowles seminar

Economist Samuel Bowles visiting CSU February 1

The Department of Economics is pleased to host Dr. Samuel Bowles as our seminar speaker on Thursday, 2/1/18.

Samuel Bowles, (PhD, Economics, Harvard University) heads the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute. Bowles’ research includes theoretical and empirical studies of political hierarchy and wealth inequality and their evolution over the very long run. Recent books are The Moral Economy: Why good laws are no substitute for good citizens (2016) and A Cooperative Species: Human reciprocity and its evolution (with Herbert Gintis, 2011), His next will be Equality’s Moment: The origins and future of economic disparity and political hierarchy. With CORE (Curriculum Open-access Resources for Economics), he has produced a new introduction to economics (www.core-econ.org).

Dr. Bowles will be giving two presentations on 2/1/18. The first will be held at 12:30pm in Clark A103. This presentation is titled: “A Post-Walrasian Introduction to Economics: Teaching CORE.” This workshop will address the challenges and opportunities of teaching a new paradigm to introductory students based on the best of contemporary economics, drawing upon insights from many schools of thought, and scholarly disciplines and addressing some of the problems that bring students to our classroom: innovation and wealth creation, the future of work, inequality, climate change, and instability.

The second will be held at 3:30pm in Behavioral Sciences room 131. This presentation is titled: “The Origins and Future of Economic Inequality.” Bowles will be referencing his paper: “Technology, Institutions, and Wealth Inequality Over Eleven Millennia.”


We present 228 estimates of wealth inequality over the past 11 millennia, measured to assure comparability across different asset types and demographic structures. Our data suggest that wealth disparities are no less in modern democratic and capitalist economies than in the autocratic societies of the past, excepting slave economies. Comparing across political-economic institutions, the only populations with notably less inequality are Neolithic and some later labor-intensive farming economies without a state organization. Institutional differences other than slavery and the presence of states may account for differences in the inequality in income more through effects on redistribution than on wealth inequality.

These seminars are free and open to the public.

Read the CLA SOURCE story here.