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Bowles, Samuel 1939-

BOWLES, Samuel 1939-


PERSONAL: Born 1939, in New Haven, CT. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1960; Harvard University, Ph.D., 1965.


ADDRESSES: Offıce—Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 10113; fax: 413-548-9852; Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Rd., Santa Fe, NM 87501. E-mail—[email protected] edu.


CAREER: Economist and writer. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, assistant professor of economics, 1965-71, associate professor 1971-74; University of Massachusetts at Amherst, professor of economics, 1974—, chair of Department of Economics, 2000, then professor emeritus; Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM, research associate, 2000—; Research Network on Effects of Inequality on Economic Performance, founder and co-director, 1993—. Visiting professor, University of Siena, 1982—. Has worked as a musician, a high school teacher in Nigeria, and a participant in the civil rights movement.


MEMBER: South African Commission on the Labour Market.


AWARDS, HONORS: Chancellor's Lecture and Bronze Medal, University of Massachusetts, 1979; Guggenheim fellowship, 1980-1981; fellowship of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, 1983; William Fulbright Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Kyoto and Doshisha University, 1984, University of Siena, 1993; University of Massachusetts Faculty fellowship, 1986; Ford Visiting Professor, University of California—Berkeley, 1988; Museum of Education Book of the Century, 1999, for Schooling in Capitalist America.


WRITINGS:


Planning Educational Systems for Economic Growth, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1969.

(With David Kendrick, Lance Taylor, and Marc Roberts) Notes and Problems in Microeconomic Theory, Markham Publishing. Co. (Chicago, IL), 1970.

(With Herbert Gintis) Schooling in Capitalist America:Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1976.

(With David M. Gordon and Thomas E. Weisskopf) Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, Anchor Press/Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1983.

(With Richard Edwards) Understanding Capitalism:Competition, Command, and Change in the U.S. Economy, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1985.

(With Herbert Gintis) Democracy and Capitalism:Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1986.

(With Herbert Gintis) Recasting Egalitarianism: NewRules for Communities, States, and Markets, edited by Erik Olin Wright, Verso (New York, NY), 1998.

(With David M. Gordon and Thomas E. Weisskopf) After the Waste Land: A Democratic Economics for the Year 2000, M. E. Sharpe, Inc. (Armonk, NY), 1990.

Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2003.


editor


(With Hollis B. Chenery) Studies in Development Planning, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1971.

(With Richard Edwards and William G. Shepherd) Unconventional Wisdom: Essays on Economics in Honor of John Kenneth Galbraith, Houghton-Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1989.

(With Richard Edwards) Radical Political Economy, Gower Publishing Co. (Brookfield, VT), 1990.

(With Herbert Gintis and Bo Gustafsson) Markets andDemocracy: Participation, Accountability, and Efficiency, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, NY), 1993.

(With Thomas E. Weisskopf) David M. Gordon, Economics and Social Justice: Essays on Power, Labor, and Institutional Change, Edward Elgar Publishing (Northampton, MA), 1998.

(With Maurizio Franzini and Ugo Pagano), ThePolitics and Economics of Power, Routledge (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Kenneth Arrow and Steven Durlauf) Meritocracy and Economic Inequality, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2000.

Contributor to periodicals and journals, including Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and Boston Review.

WORK IN PROGRESS: The Foundations of Social Reciprocity, edited with Robert Boyd, Ernst Fehr, and Herbert Gintis; Intergenerational Inequality, edited with Gintis and Melissa Osborne, for Princeton University Press/Russell Sage Foundation; Poverty Traps, edited with Steven Durlauf and Karla Hoff, for Princeton University Press/Russell Sage Foundation; Inequality and Environmental Sustainability, edited with Jean-Marie Baland and Pranab Bardham, for Princeton University Press/Russell Sage Foundation; Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command, and Change, 3rd revised edition, with Frank Roosevelt, for Oxford University Press; Cooperation, Reciprocity, and Punishment: Experiments from Fifteen Small-scale Societies, edited with Joe Henrich, Robert Boyd, Colin Camerer, Enrst Fehr, and Gintis.


SIDELIGHTS: Economist, writer, and educator Samuel Bowles was born in 1939 in New Haven, Conneticut. He spent his early childhood in rural areas of New England and lived for a while in India with his parents during the early 1950s. In 1958 Bowles began a two-year tour of Russia as a musician. He also worked for three years as a high school teacher in northern Nigeria. In the early 1960s, he also became active in the civil rights movement.

In 1969 Bowles published his first book, Planning Educational Systems for Economic Growth, a revision of his doctoral thesis. His next book, Notes and Problems in Microeconomic Theory, written with David Kendrick, was published in 1970. "Both publications were based on the dominant neoclassical understanding of economics of education and micro-economics," wrote a contributor for the World of Sociology. "However, by the late 1960s, Bowles had already formed friendships with numerous leftist, radical economists such as Arthur McEwan, Thomas Weisskopf, and Herbert Gintis." Bowles's economic ideas began to evolve, and in 1968 he was a founding member of the Union for Radical Political Economics. In their search for new economic ideas, Marxism became an intellectual influence on Bowles and his contemporaries.

Bowles became an associate professor of economics at Harvard University in 1971, but "his time at Harvard as a faculty member was fairly tumultuous," it was reported in the World of Sociology profile. "Deeply involved in the protest against the United States' involvement in Vietnam and already collaborating with fellow radical economist Gintis, Bowles came into conflict at Harvard as a new professor when he refused to sign an oath of loyalty to the U.S. Constitution. He was fired, but successfully pursued legal action to overturn both the dismissal and the oath requirement." Bowles was denied tenure in 1973. However, he took a position as professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1974. In 2000, he became chair of the department of economics there.

Bowles's work continued to approach economics from a Marxist perspective, and he published several papers outlining this outlook. "With the publication of Schooling of Capitalist America, cowritten with Gintis, Bowles's rejection of orthodox economics was complete," it was noted in the World of Sociology profile. "In this work, Bowles and Gintis explored the relationship between capitalism and the educational system. In so doing, they coined the term 'corresponding principle,' suggesting that school systems tend to adopt a hierarchical structure that mirrors the structure found in the labor market of a capitalist economy. Using this principle, they critiqued liberal educational philosophy, coming to the conclusion that educational reform is incompatible with a capitalist society."

Bowles then collaborated with David Gordon and Weisskopf on a series of papers studying the stagnation of the U.S. economy in the late 1970s and the subsequent expansion of rightist political economic policy. The papers were collected in two volumes, Beyond the Wasteland and After the Waste Land. His collaborations with Gintis also continued, resulting in books such as Democracy and Capitalism. Bowles also continued his study of capitalism from a Marxist perspective during the 1980s and 1990s, and into the 2000s. In 2000, Bowles became a research associate at the Santa Fe Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was also appointed by South African president Nelson Mandela to serve on South Africa's Commission on the Labour Market, where Bowles helped develop economic policies intended to counter the effects of apartheid.


Markets and Democracy: Participation, Accountability, and Effıciency, edited by Bowles with Herbert Gintis and Bo Gustafsson, "is a large volume, with three editors, twenty-three authors, eighteen separate essays, and a preface," wrote William M. Dugger in Journal of Economic Issues. Dugger quoted co-editor Gustafsson in describing the purpose of the book: "Ideally we are in search of an economic system, which combines the flexibility and vitality of modern capitalism with full employment, extensive participation in decision-making, a more egalitarian distribution of income and wealth in firms, and promotion of values oriented toward cooperation and solidarity between people."

In their search for such a system, the editors considered labor-owned and labor-managed firms "as an alternative to the investor-owned and hierarchically managed corporation," Dugger wrote. "The essays ask the right questions, but they use a game-theoretic approach to critique the usual neoclassical economics and its support of the status quo." To Dugger, "A powerful critique it is, but it is still largely hypothetical." However, Dugger observed, "In spite of the analytical gymnastics, several important issues are raised in these essays, and results are often obtained that are the exact opposite of the usual mainstream shibboleths."

In Recasting Egalitarianism: New rules for Communities, States, and Markets, Bowles and Gintis edit a volume consisting of a lengthy essay by the editors "advocating a new egalitarian project," wrote Vincent Geoghegan in Utopian Studies. Their essay "is followed by a range of responses to the proposal from philosophers, political scientists, and economists." Although Geoghegan found in the book little evidence of "how these egalitarian structures would operate in practice" and how "political forces might hinder or help the introduction of these measures," the broad outlines of the ideas by Bowles and Gintis are "sufficiently present to provide a basis for the lively critical responses in the rest of the volume." Recasting Egalitarianism is "a thought-provoking book," Geoghegan concluded. "All the chapters are of a very high quality, and the debates are rigorous and intensely topical."

The springboard essay by Bowles and Gintis "assumes as its starting point that the modern left is bereft of viable models for an efficient egalitarianism," Geoghegan remarked. "It turns its back on the widespread assumption that egalitarianism requires a loss of efficiency, and instead argues that a more equal society can actually provide greater efficiencies than can the inegalitarian capitalism of the modern world."


Meritocracy and Economic Inequality, edited by Bowles, Kenneth Arrow, and Steven Durlauf, approaches issues of economic inequality in contemporary America. "This book . . . argues that economic inequality cannot simply be explained by individual intellectual ability and that social reforms can reduce the extent of inequality and improve the nation's economic well-being," wrote Hiroshi Ishida in American Journal of Sociology.

The book contains a chapter by Bowles and Gintis arguing that "schooling increases earnings primarily by transforming individuals' preferences, rather than by enhancing cognitive skills," Ishida observed. Other chapters address issues surrounding intelligence and trends in I.Q. tests; explore relationships among cognitive skill, education, and socioeconomic attainment; provide new economic models for racial inequality; and present simulations showing that wage gaps between high school and college graduates "differ by ability groups," Ishida wrote.

Claudia Goldin, writing in Journal of Interdisciplinary History, remarked that although the papers presented in Meritocracy and Economic Inequality lack historical evidence, they still "contain revealing research findings and, for those interested in the subject, this collection will be an important stopping point." To Ishida, "this book shows that scientific studies can contribute to tackling one of the most pressing issues confronted by American people: the persistence of economic equality. It should be read not only by the educated public, who will gain a better understanding of the causes of inequality, but also by public policy makers who will learn a great deal about how to craft effective policies to reduce economic equality."


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


books


Palmisano, Joseph M., editor, World of Sociology, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.


periodicals


American Journal of Sociology, May, 1987, Robert R. Alford, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, p. 1558; May, 2001, Hiroshi Ishida, review of Meritocracy and Economic Inequality, p. 1803.

American Political Science Review, June, 1988, Dickinson McGaw, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, pp. 607-608.

Business Week, August 22, 1983, review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, pp. 10-11.

Canadian Journal of Political Science, June, 1989, France Giroux, "La Democratie Post-Liberale: essai politique sur le liberalisme et le marxisme," p. 451.

Center Magazine, July-August, 1986, Donald Mc-Donald, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, pp. 37-38.

Challenge, November-December, 1983, Richard D. Bartel, "The Zero-Sum Illusion" (interview), p. 29.

Choice, June, 2000, J. F. O'Connell, review of Meritocracy and Economic Inequality, p. 1863.

Contemporary Sociology, September, 1987, Erik Olin Wright, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, p. 748; May, 2001, George Farkas, review of Meritocracy and Economic Inequality, pp. 236-237.

Dollars & Sense, March-April, 1994, Bryan Snyder, "Creating a New World Economy: Forces of Change and Plans for Action," p. 34.

Economic Journal, March, 1986, John Grahl, review of Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command, and Change in the U.S. Economy, p. 272; November, 1991, Walter Eltis, review of Schools of Thought in Economics, p. 1602.

Ethics, April, 1987, Michael Wallerstein, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, pp. 684-685.

Foreign Affairs, fall, 1983, William Diebold, Jr., review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, p. 215.

Harvard Business Review, January-February, 1984, Timothy B. Blodgett, review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, pp. 12-13.

Journal of Comparative Economics, June, 1992, Jeff Frank, review of After the Waste Land: A Democratic Economics for the Year 2000, pp. 338-339.

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, June, 1987, Michael Barzelay, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, p. 318.

Journal of Economic History, September, 1987, Robert L. Bennett, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, p. 864.

Journal of Economic Issues, March, 1987, Walter C. Wagner, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, p. 549; September, 1994, William M. Dugger, review of Markets and Democracy: Participation, Accountability, and Efficiency, p. 946.

Journal of Economic Literature, March, 1989, Dan Usher, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, p. 75; September, 1992, Richard B. du Boff, review of After the Waste Land: A Democratic Economics for the Year 2000, p. 1543; March, 1995, Peter Dorman, review of Markets and Democracy: Participation, Accountability, and Effıciency, p. 277; March, 2001, Charles Brown, review of Meritocracy and Economic Inequality, p. 93.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History, winter, 2001, Claudia Goldin, review of Meritocracy and Economic Inequality, p. 431.

Journal of Legislation, summer, 1984, Timothy G. Merker, review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, pp. 568-570.

Journal of Management Studies, July, 2001, Michael Rowlinson, review of The Politics and Economics of Power, p. 762.

Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, March, 2000, "Recasting Egalitarianism: New Rules for Communities, States, and Markets," pp. 189-190.

Library Journal, September 1, 1983, Richard C. Schiming, review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, p. 1695; May 1, 1986, David Steiniche, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, pp. 122-123; March 1, 1991, Richard C. Schiming, review of After the Wasteland: A Democratic Economics for the Year 2000, p. 100.

Nation, July 2, 1983, John McDermott, review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, p. 18; July 21, 1984, Norman Birnbaum, review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, pp. 58-59.

National Review, August 26, 1991, Alan Reynolds, "Who's on Next? John Kenneth Galbraith Is Still on the Job, after Forty Years as America's Most Urbane Socialist," p. 31.

New Republic, February 13, 1984, Bob Kuttner, review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, p. 26.

New York Review of Books, John Kenneth Galbraith, review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, p. 3.

New York Times, July 24, 1983, review of Beyond theWaste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, p. F2.

New York Times Book Review, July 31, 1983, Peter Passell, Review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, pp. 7-8; June 8, 1986, Suzanne Berger, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, p. 31.

Partisan Review, summer, 1990, William Phillips, "Plus ça Change," pp. 337-338.

Political Quarterly, April-June, 1994, Jonathan Boswell, review of Markets and Democracy: Participation, Accountability, and Effıciency, pp. 231-232.

Political Studies, September, 1995, Pat Devine, review of Markets and Democracy: Participation, Accountability, and Effıciency, pp. 543-544.

Politics & Society, June, 1990, Donald McCloskey, "Their Blackbird, Right or Wrong: A Comment on Contested Exchange," p. 223; John R. Bowman, "Competition and the Microfoundations of the Capitalist Economy: Towards the Redefinition of Homo Economicus," p. 233; John E. Roemer, "A Thin Thread: Comment on Bowles' and Gintis' 'Contested Exchange,'" p. 243; Michael Buraway and Erik Olin Wright, "Coercion and Consent in Contested Exchange," p. 251; Michele Salvati, "When a Mouse Brings Forth a Mountain," p. 267; Frank Thompson, "Bowles and Gintis and Political Economic Explanation," p. 279.

Progressive, December, 1983, J. Patrick Lewis, review of Beyond the Waste Land: A Democratic Alternative to Economic Decline, pp. 40-41; August, 1986, J. Patrick Lewis, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, pp. 40-41; July, 1991, John Buell, review of After the Waste Land: A Democratic Economics for the Year 2000, p. 40.

Public Interest, summer, 1987, Richard John Neuhaus, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, p. 112.

Publishers Weekly, August 25, 1989, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Unconventional Wisdom: Essays on Economics in Honor of John Kenneth Galbraith, p. 54.

Review of Radical Political Economics, winter, 1987, Raid Seidelman, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, pp. 91-92; winter, 1988, Christing Rider, review of Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command, and Change in the U.S. Economy, p. 98; September, 1994, Ed Ford, review of Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command, and Change in the U.S. Economy, p. 127.

Science & Society, fall, 1987, James N. Devine, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, p. 362.

Socialist Review, April-June, 1990, Jeff Godwin, "Democracy and Capitalism," p. 131.

Southern Economic Journal, January, 1992, Timothy Kroechlin, review of After the Waste Land: A Democratic Economics for the Year 2000, pp. 842-843.

Utopian Studies, spring, 2000, Vincent Geoghegan, review of Recasting Egalitarianism: New Rules for Communities, States, and Markets, p. 233.

Wall Street Journal, August 25, 1986, William H. Riker, review of Democracy and Capitalism: Property, Community, and the Contradictions of Modern Social Thought, pp. 14, 19.


online


Samuel Bowles Web site, http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~bowles (August 15, 2002).*

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