Experimental Evolution and Economics

Terence C. Burnham, Aimee Dunlap, David W. Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This is a theory paper that advocates experimental evolution as a novel approach to study economic preferences. Economics could benefit because preferences are exogenous, axiomatic, and contentious. Experimental evolution allows the empirical study of preferences by placing organisms in designed environments and studying their genotype and phenotype over multiple generations. We describe a number of empirical studies on different aspects of preferences. We argue that experimental evolution has the potential to improve economics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 19 2015


  • evolution
  • microeconomics
  • natural selection
  • preferences

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