Wednesday, April 20, 2005


The Economist calls attention to Jason Shogren's recent paper in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. In "Human Evolution: Homo economicus?" the magazine's writer reports:

"Since the days of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, advocates of free trade and the division of labour, including this newspaper, have lauded the advantages of those economic principles. Until now, though, no one has suggested that they might be responsible for the very existence of humanity. ... Dr. Shogrun is suggesting that trade and specialisation are the reasons Homo sapiens displaced Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man), and emerged triumphant as the only species of humanity."

Sounds like great fun. I just hope that now protectionists do not end up being labeled as Neanderthals.