Economic drivers of biological complexity

Phelps, Steve and Russell, Yvan I. ORCID logoORCID: (2015) Economic drivers of biological complexity. Adaptive Behavior, 23 (3) . pp. 315-326. ISSN 1059-7123 [Article] (doi:10.1177/1059712315593607)


The complexity that we observe in nature can often be explained in terms of cooperative behavior. For example, the
major transitions of evolution required the emergence of cooperation among the lower-level units of selection, which
led to specialization through division-of-labor ultimately resulting in spontaneous order. There are two aspects to
address explaining how such cooperation is sustained: how free-riders are prevented from free-riding on the benefits of
cooperative tasks and, just as importantly, how those social benefits arise. We review these problems from an economic
perspective, and highlight how ideas from economics can help us to better understand how the benefits of social interactions
arise, how they are sustained, and how they affect the underlying social dilemmas.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online before print July 16, 2015,
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 18150
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Yvan Russell
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2015 10:24
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 18:28

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