Discipline: Economics

Developed by American economist Gary Becker (1930- ), bioeconomics term refers to an area of economics in which sociobiology is applied to explain human behavior in a capitalist economic system.

Becker asserted that the combined assumptions of maximizing behavior, market equilibrium and stable preferences were at the heart of the economic approach.

Seeing the economic approach as comprehensive, he decided that it could be applied to all types of human behavior; for example, racial discrimination, fertility, education, crime, marriage, and political problems.

Becker's arguement assumes that human behaviour can be seen as involving participants who maximize their utility from a constant set of preferences, and accumulate an optimal amount of information and other factors in a variety of markets.

G S Becker, The Economic Approach to Human Behavior (Chicago, III., 1977);
C W Clark, Mathematical Bioeconomics: the Optimal Management of Renewable Resources (New York, 1976)


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