Journal of Bioeconomics

, 10:259 | Cite as

The bioeconomics of homogeneous middleman groups as adaptive units: Theory and empirical evidence viewed from a group selection framework

Open Access
Article

Abstract

The paper presents a bioeconomics theory of homogeneous middleman groups (HMGs) as adaptive units as well as empirical evidence in the form of a number of historical case studies of HMGs functioning as adaptive units in less-developed economies lacking infrastructure. The evidence presented is not new: most of the case studies have been published [Landa (in Jenkins (Ed.) The informal sector: Including the excluded, 1988)]. What is new, however, is analyzing the phenomena of HMGs in a new way—as adaptive units viewed from a group selection perspective. In doing so, the case studies in this paper present empirical evidence of the existence and importance of group selection in human society.

Keywords

Adaptation Complex regulatory mechanisms Major life transitions Social norms Institutions Trust Kinship Ethnicity Clubs Multilevel selection Cultural group selection In-group cooperation Between-group competition Cultural bearing and transmission units Dual-inheritance theory Ethnocentrism 

JEL Classification

D23 D71 D86 L14 017 Z12 Z13 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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