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There is a schism within economics between the neoclassical and behavioral schools. A primary cause of the behavioral ascent is the experimental evidence of deviations between actual behavior and the neoclassical prediction of behavior. While behavioral scholars have documented these “anomalies,” they have made little progress explaining the origin of such behavior. This paper proposes a biological and evolutionary foundation for the anomalies of behavioral economics by separating proximate and ultimate causation. Such a foundation may allow for a re-uniting of economics; a neo-Darwinian synthesis of neoclassical and behavioral economics.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, volume 90 supplement, jn 2012. DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.015

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