The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Biological Applications of Economics

  • Gordon Tullock
Reference work entry


Both Darwin and Wallace, the two independent discoverers of biological evolution, specifically said that the idea came to them while reading Malthus’s work on population. Since Malthus was history’s first professor of Economics, this was clearly the most important influence of economics on biology. It is particularly interesting because Malthus’s book on population has turned out to have relatively little predictive value in dealing with the human race in the roughly 150 years since it was written, but does fit non-human specie rather well. In a way he was a better biologist than an economist.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Tullock
    • 1
  1. 1.