Sam Bowles is Research Professor at
the Santa Fe Institute where he heads the Behavioral Sciences Program. He is also
Professor of Economics at the University of Siena. He taught economics at Harvard from
1965 to 1973 and at the University of Massachusetts, where he is now emeritus professor.
His recent studies on cultural evolution have challenged the conventional economic
assumption that people are motivated entirely by self-interest. These have included the
mathematical modeling and agent-based computer simulations of the evolution of altruistic
behaviors by means of multi-level selection and behavioral experiments in 15 huntergather
and other small-scale societies. Bowles' current research also includes both
theoretical and empirical studies of the role of incomplete contracts in labor markets and
financial markets in explaining income inequality.
He has also served as an economic advisor to the governments of Cuba, South
Africa and Greece, to presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy and Jesse Jackson, and to
the World Bank and the International Labor Organization.