Bioeconomics, the integration of economics with biology, aims at enriching the two disciplines with the transfer of concepts and tools in both directions. The new field emerged in the 1970s, with contributions from the founders of bioeconomics, economists Gordon Tullock, Gary Becker, and Jack Hirshleifer, and biologist Michael Ghiselin.

Tullock applied standard economic theory of constrained maximization by humans to the analysis of a bird, the coal tit, and its consumption behavior. Ghiselin, combining Charles Darwin's (1809–1882) theory of sexual selection with Adam Smith's (1723–1790) notion of specialization and division of labor with his own notions of competition and cooperation, developed his theory of the “economy of nature” and the evolution of sex as a bioeconomics paradigm alternative to E. O. Wilson's (1975) gene-based sociobiological approach. ...

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