Introduction

Unlike other species, humans are heavily reliant on learning from others to acquire many important aspects of their behavior, and this cultural transmission has created a second system of inheritance that has driven much of our species genetic evolution. In addition to having shaped our species' anatomy and physiology, cultural evolution has important implications for understanding human nature, and for how to tackle basic problems in psychology, economics, and anthropology. The first third of this course develops the basic principles and lines of empirical inquiry while the remainder applies, hones, and refines them by exploring economic development, the history of modern institutions, and global inequality. The recorded lectures are from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences course Human Evolutionary Biology 1290.

Meet The Author

James A. Robinson

James A. Robinson

University Professor, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago

James Robinson is a Professor of Government, Harvard University. His research interests lie in political economy and economic and political development. He received his BS from the London School of Economics and Political Science, his MA from University of Warwick, and his PhD from Yale University in 1993. Some of his publications include; Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 2000, A Theory of Political Transitions American Economic Review, September 2001, Colonial Origins of Comparative Development, American Economic Review, December 2001, Inefficient Redistribution American Political Science Review, September 2001, Reversal of Fortune Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 2002 and States and Power in Africa: Comparative Lessons in Authority and Control by Jeffrey I. Herbst: A Review Essay, Journal of Economic Literature, June 2002; . He has just published a book jointly with Daron Acemoglu titled The Economic Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship which was published by Cambridge University Press.

Education

  • PhD, Yale University
Joseph Henrich

Joseph Henrich

Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

PhD University of California, Los Angeles

Nathan Nunn

Nathan Nunn

Professor of Economics, Harvard University

PhD University of Toronto

Course Provided By

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