The term Homo economicus, or economic man, is a core principle in mainstream economic thinking. It’s a portrayal of humans as being inherently rational, greedy, and self-interested.
Where did the idea of Homo economicus come from? Why is it so embedded in mainstream economic thinking? And most importantly, is it true? Are we Homo economicus? Or are we the opposite — kind, compassionate, altruistic beings whose good nature has been thwarted by a mistaken view of our own humanity? Or is the truth somewhere in between? These are some of the questions we will be exploring in this episode, “Debunking the Myth of Homo economicus.”