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Peter Hammerstein

Økonomi, evolusjon og beslutningsteori
- Mindre rasjonalitet og mer samarbeidsvilje?

I diskusjon med Gaute Torsvik

Onsdag 21. oktober kl 19:00
Auditorium Egget
, Studentsenteret, Parkv 1, Nygårdshøyden

Engelsk sammendrag:
Economists use decision theory to explore how humans ought to behave if only they were smart enough. Homo oeconomicus is a fictitious being, equipped with consistent preferences and an unlimited capacity to identify and solve any problem optimally at no cost in no time. In contrast, biologists explore how animals with their limited mental capabilities actually behave in natural situations. It does not seem a feasible question to ask how animals ought to behave. Yet, there is a link between normative economic theory and its empirical biological counterpart. Darwinian evolution often creates traits that look to an observer as if the animal did care about the economist's advice. Therefore, economic analysis of animal behavior has become a flourishing field in which games and markets play an important role. I examine the theoretical foundation of this field and illustrate conceptual issues with biological examples of trade, advertising, partner choice, and cooperation. I also discuss the impact of evolutionary biology on current thought and empirical activities in economics.

Peter Hammerstein er professor ved Institutt for teoretisk biologi ved Humboldt Universitetet i Berlin, Tyskland. Forskningen hans kombinerer økonomi og biologi, natur og kultur, og atferd hos dyr og mennesker.

Gaute Torsvik er professor ved Institutt for økonomi ved Universitetet i Bergen. I tillegg til en mengde vitenskapelige artikler om incentiver i økonomi og politikk har han skrevet boka Menneskenatur og Samfunnsstruktur: Ein kritisk introduksjon til økonomisk teori (2003).
Arrangementet er gratis og åpent for alle. Foredraget holdes på engelsk og egner seg også for ikke-biologer. Velkommen!

Gift og motgift i naturen og kulturen

Peter Hammerstein

Torsdag 22. oktober 10:15
Auditorium 101
, Jahnebakken 5 (Mikrobiologibygningen), Nygårdshøyden

Engelsk sammendrag:
In host parasite interactions there is usually little scope for cooperation. It would seem maladaptive, for example, if hosts actively provided their parasites with resources, helped them to survive and facilitated their transmission into offspring. Intracellular bacteria of the genus Wolbachia demonstrate impressively, however, that this view of host parasite relationships is far too simple. Many strains of Wolbachia are known for a dual way in which they manipulate their hosts. In males they "poison" the sperm. In a female's egg they offer an "antidote" if the egg is infected. Females of an infected population would then often be under selection to "pay protection money" in order to "buy" the rescue of eggs in fusions with manipulated sperm. Less figuratively speaking, our models show for a wide range of parameters that natural selection would program females to support the bacteria even if the latter significantly reduced female fecundity. This is probably one of the main reasons why more than half of all insect species seem to be infected with Wolbachia. The bacterial poison-antidote system can strongly influence host evolution since it facilitates genetic divergence, local adaptation, and speciation. Wolbachia are not the only organisms employing a poison-antidote system. In particular, human business often prospers on the basis of structurally similar manipulations. The talk also addresses the general issue of how manipulative strategies evolve and how to explain human drug seeking behavior.

Arrangementet er gratis og åpent for alle. Foredraget holdes på engelsk. Velkommen!

Nysgjerrig? Her kan du finne ut mer:

Peter Hammersteins hjemmeside [engelsk]
Artikler og bøker Peter Hammerstein har skrevet [engelsk]
Torsvik's kronikk Natur, politikk og samfunn
(Dag og Tid 15.10.2009)

Gaute Torsvik sin hjemmeside



Institutt for biologi