Anthropology, Economics, and Choice

Anthropology, Economics, and Choice

In the midst of global recession, angry citizens and media pundits often offer simplistic theories about how bad decisions lead to crises. Many economists, however, base their analyses on rational choice theory, which assumes that decisions are made by well-informed, intelligent people who weigh risks, costs, and benefits. Taking a more realistic approach, the field of anthropology carefully looks at the underlying causes of choices at different times and places. Using case studies of choices by farmers, artisans, and bureaucrats drawn from Michael Chibnik's research in Mexico, Peru, Belize, and the United States, Anthropology, Economics, and Choice presents a clear-eyed perspective on human actions and their economic consequences. Five key issues are explored in-depth: choices between paid and unpaid work; ways people deal with risk and uncertainty; how individuals decide whether to cooperate; the extent to which households can be regarded as decision-making units; and the "tragedy of the commons," the theory that social chaos may result from unrestricted access to commonly owned property. Both an accessible primer and an innovative exploration of economic anthropology, this interdisciplinary work brings fresh insight to a timely topic.

Themes in Economic Anthropology

Themes in Economic Anthropology

The main focus of the volume - the processes of choice and decision-making in different economic systems - offers exceptional scope for the convergence of economic and anthropological perspectives. It concentrates on transactions that both express and influence social relationships and values. Covering a wide geographic area there are specific studies on societies in Equatorial Africa, Colombia, South India and the Balkans. First published in 1967.

Theory in Economic Anthropology

Theory in Economic Anthropology

This new volume from the Society for Economic Anthropology examines the unique contributions of anthropologists to general economic theory. The authors challenge our understanding of human economies in the expanding global systems of interaction, with models and analyses from cross-cultural research. The book will be a valuable resource for anthropologists, economists, economic historians, political economists, and economic development specialists.

Scholarship, Money, and Prose

Behind the Scenes at an Academic Journal

Scholarship, Money, and Prose

An illuminating guide to publishing a scholarly journal written by a former editor-in-chief American Anthropologist is the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association, published quarterly, reaching more than 12,000 readers with each issue and representing four distinct subfields. The journal publishes articles that add to, integrate, synthesize, and interpret anthropological knowledge; commentaries and essays on issues of importance to the discipline; and reviews of books, films, sound recordings, and exhibits. From 2012 to 2016, Michael Chibnik was editor-in-chief of American Anthropologist. In Scholarship, Money, and Prose, he writes a candid account of the complex and challenging work entailed in its production. Providing detailed ethnographic and historical descriptions of the operations of a major journal and behind-the-scenes anecdotes of his experiences, Chibnik makes transparent the work of an editor-in-chief. He reveals how he assembled diverse materials, assessed contradictory peer reviews of manuscripts submitted for publication, and collaborated with authors to improve the legibility and clarity of their articles. He also examines controversies that emerged from his columns on open access and biological anthropology and the inclusion of politically charged material in the journal. Scholarship, Money, and Prose sheds light on two aspects of successful editing that are common to academic journals whatever their subject matter. The first task is to strike a balance among different theoretical perspectives and topical specialties. This pressure is particularly salient in a field like anthropology in which scholars differ greatly in the extent to which they adopt a scientific or humanistic perspective. Second, editors must attend carefully to the need to keep costs down and revenues up in an economic environment in which libraries are cutting subscriptions and publishers are considering the future sustainability of journals. Relevant to a wide range of disciplines, Scholarship, Money, and Prose serves as a window onto the past, present, and future of scholarly publishing.

Public Choice, Past and Present

The Legacy of James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock

Public Choice, Past and Present

In 1962, economists James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock published The Calculus of Consent, in which they developed the principles of public choice theory. In the fifty years since its publication, the book has defined the field and set the standard for research and analysis. To celebrate a half-century of scholarship in public choice, Dwight Lee has assembled distinguished academics from around the world to reflect on the influence of this monumental publication, and, more broadly, the legacy of its legendary authors. Their essays cover a broad spectrum of topics and approaches, from the impact of public choice theory on foreign policy analysis to personal remembrances of learning from and collaborating with Buchanan and Tullock. The result is a unique collection of insights that celebrate public choice and its visionary proponents, while considering its future directions. ​

Public Choice Economics and the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria

Public Choice Economics and the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria

Public Choice Economics and the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria provides an economics perspective on the witchcraft episode, and adds to the growing body of work analyzing prominent historical events using the tools of economics.

Anthropology and Archaeology

A Changing Relationship

Anthropology and Archaeology

Anthropolgy and Archaeology provides a valuable and much-needed introduction to the theories and methods of these two inter-related subjects. This volume covers the historical relationship and contemporary interests of archaeology and anthropology. It takes a broad historical approach, setting the early history of the disciplines with the colonial period during which the Europeans encountered and attempted to make sense of many other peoples. It shows how the subjects are linked through their interest in kinship, economics and symbolism, and discusses what each contribute to debates about gender, material culture and globalism in the post-colonial world.

Choice, Rules and Collective Action

The Ostrom's on the Study of Institutions and Governance

Choice, Rules and Collective Action

This volume brings a set of key works by Elinor Ostrom, co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, together with those of Vincent Ostrom, one of the originators of Public Choice political economy. The two scholars introduce and expound their approaches and analytical perspectives on the study of institutions and governance. The book puts together works representing the main analytical and conceptual vehicles articulated by the Ostroms to create the Bloomington School of public choice and institutional theory. Their endeavours sought to ‘re-establish the priority of theory over data collection and analysis’, and to better integrate theory and practice. These efforts are illustrated via selected texts, organised around three themes: the political economy and public choice roots of their work in creating a distinct branch of political economy; the evolutionary nature of their work that led them to go beyond mainstream public choice, thereby enriching the public choice tradition itself; and, finally, the foundational and epistemological dimensions and implications of their work.