Unsure if this is off topic but have there been any attempts to look at the "economics of nature"? I mean this in the sense of measuring the "economic activities" of the animal kingdom.

From wikipedia

An economy (From Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the production, distribution, or trade, and consumption of goods and services by different agents in a given geographical location.

we can see all of these activities in a bee hive (other than trade I guess). It seems like it can work very well with alot of the inter-temporal models we see in intermediate macroeconomics.

Practical questions for analysis include:

  • How is "income" or food distributed in a colony
  • what is the Lorenz curve in a colony
  • what is the MRS between present and future consumption in a colony

It would be interesting for the sake of real world policy application, much like engineers design from nature can we create economic policy from it?

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    $\begingroup$ There is increasing use of studying apes in behavioral economics. When i get a couple free moments later today ill upload some information which will hopefully help you out $\endgroup$ – bdempe Nov 4 '16 at 13:00
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    $\begingroup$ @bdempe Please share the ape info, some of us are still interested. $\endgroup$ – Giskard Nov 15 '16 at 14:51

You may want to take a look at Evolutionary Game Theory. Instead of using the regular equilibrium concept developed by Nash, it uses the concept of an Evolutionarily Stable Strategy (ESS). The idea isn't that players are rational and are choosing strategies given what others are doing to maximize payoff. The idea is: each mutation of that species is "programed" to adopt a particular action (instinct), and when different mutations of the gene interact, it will generate probabilities of survival. Thus, an equilibrium strategy is an ESS, which are the types of actions instinctive to a certain gene type, which will tend to survive and procreate, passing forth the gene. Game Theory is a field that has had intensive collaboration between Biology and Economics. I am sure you will find some interesting stuff.

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