The Benevolent Market — Also in Reason, check out Ron Bailey’s piece on some cross cultural experiments conducted by anthropologists and economists. It turns out that people experienced with markets are nicer. The experiments are part of a fascinating larger project to develop a realistic alternative to the startlingly silly homo economicus model of human behavior.
Experimental economics is a fantastically interesting field that I think is finally beginning to get some of the recognition it deserves. If you are on the Nobel Committee, you should nominate this man:
Herbert Gintis, who is featured in Bailey’s piece, has always struck me as a very cool, intellectually open guy. He occasionally makes great contributions to the big evolutionary psychology email listserv. And he writes very useful Amazon reviews. And outstanding books on game theory. I declare Gintis my favorite leftist! (Everybody should have one.)