Dr. Bart Wilson

Dr. Bart Wilson

Professor, Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Economics and Law
Director, Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy
Economic Science Institute
Dale E. Fowler School of Law
The George L. Argyros College of Business and Economics
Expertise: Experimental Economics; Property; Civil Asset Forfeiture; Philosophy of Property; Biology of Property; Spontaneous Order and the Law;
Office Location: Wilkinson Hall 109
Phone: (714) 628-7306
Scholarly Works:
SSRN Author Page
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Bachelor of Science
University of Arizona, Master of Arts
University of Arizona, Ph.D.


Bart J. Wilson is the Donald P. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Economics and Law at Chapman University. He is a founding member of the Economic Science Institute and founding member and Director of the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy. His research uses experimental economics to explore the foundations of exchange and specialization and the origins of property. Another of his research programs compares decision making in humans, apes, and monkeys. Bart has published papers in the American Economic Review, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, and Nature Human Behaviour. His research has been supported with grants from the National Science Foundation and the Federal Trade Commission. In 2019 he co-authored with Vernon Smith a Cambridge University Press book entitled, Humanomics: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

"Rule-Following," in The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, C.M. Melenovsky (Ed.), Routledge, 2022, pp. 108–120, with Erik Kimbrough.
"­­A Universally Translatable Explication of Adam Smith’s Famous Proposition on 'The Extent of the Market'," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 44(3), September, 2022, pp. 393–412, with Gian Marco Farese.
"Anything for a Cheerio: Brown Capuchins (Sapajus [Cebus] apella) Consistently Coordinate in an Assurance Game for Unequal Payoffs," American Journal of Primatology, 83(10), October, 2021, e23321, with Lauren M. Robinson, María Martínez, Kelly L. Leverette, and Sarah F. Brosnan.
"No Mere Tautology: The Division of Labour is Limited by the Division of Labour," Oxford Economic Papers, 73(1), January, pp. 371-398, with Andrew Smyth.
"Respecting Property Takes Two," OUPblog, April 16. Also appeared in Forest Landowner (print magazine), July-August, 2021, p. 44.
The Property Species: Mine, Yours, and the Human Mind, Oxford University Press, August 2020.
"A Simple, Ecologically Rational Rule for Settling Found Property Disputes," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 178, October, pp. 660-671.
“Auctions in Near-Continuous Time,” Experimental Economics, 23(1), pp. 110-126, with Cary A. Deck.
“Consistent Differences in a Virtual World Model of Ape Societies,” Scientific Reports, 10 (14075), pp.1-10, with Sarah Brosnan, Elizabeth Londsdorf, and Crickette Sanz.
"Why Do Humans Have Property?" OUPblog, October 10.
Humanomics: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge University Press, January 2019, with Vernon L. Smith.
"Capuchin monkeys (Sapajus [Cebus] apella) play Nash equilibria in dynamic games, but their decisions are likely not influenced by oxytocin," American Journal of Primatology, 81(4), e22973, pp. 1-16, with Mackenzie F. Smith, Kelly L. Leverett, and Sarah F. Brosnan.
“Becoming Just by Eliminating Injustice: The Emergence of Property in Virtual Economies” in Justice, Mark LeBar (Ed.), Oxford University Press, 2018.
“Equilibrium Play in Voluntary Ultimatum Games: Beneficence Cannot Be Exhorted,” Games and Economic Behavior, 109, May, 2018, pp. 452-464, with Vernon L. Smith.
“Experimental Tests of the Tolerated Theft and Risk-Reduction Theories of Resource Exchange,” Nature Human Behaviour, 2(6), June, 2018, pp. 383-388, with Hillard S. Kaplan, Eric Schniter, and Vernon L. Smith.
“Language and Cooperation in Hominin Scavenging,” Evolution and Human Behavior, 38(3), May, 2017, pp. 376-396, with Samuel R. Harris.
“Sentiments, Conduct, and Trust in the Laboratory,” Social Philosophy and Policy, 34(1), July, 2017, pp. 25-55, with Vernon L. Smith.
“The Welfare Effects of Civil Forfeiture,” Review of Behavioral Economics, 4(2), September, 2017, pp. 153-179, with Michael Preciado.
“Human and Monkey Responses in a Symmetric Game of Conflict with Asymmetric Equilibria,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 142, October, 2017, pp. 293-306, with Sarah F. Brosnan, Sara A. Price, Kelly Leverett, Laurent Prétôt, and Michael Beran.
“The Meaning of 'Deceive' in Experimental Economic Science,” in The Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics, George DeMartino and Deirdre McCloskey (eds.), Oxford University Press, 2016.
"Humankind in Civilization's Extended Order: A Tragedy, The First Part," Supreme Court Economic Review, 23(1), 2016, pp. 35-58.
“Conduct in Narrativized Trust Games,” Southern Economic Journal, 81 (3), January, 2015, pp. 562-597, with Jan Osborn and Bradley R. Sherwood.
“Further Towards a Theory of the Emergence of Property,” Public Choice, 163(1-2), April, 2015, pp. 201-222.
“Fair and Impartial Spectators in Experimental Economic Behavior,” Review of Behavioral Economics, 1(1), January, 2014, pp. 1-26, with Vernon L. Smith. (Lead article)
“Differential Responding by Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and Humans (Homo sapiens) to Variable Outcomes in the Assurance Game,” Animal Behavior and Cognition, 1(3), August, 2014, pp. 215-229, with Audrey E. Parrish, Sarah F. Brosnan, and Michael J. Beran. (Lead article)
“Horizontal Product Differentiation in Auctions and Multilateral Negotiations,” Economica, 81 (324), October, 2014, pp. 768-787, with Charles J. Thomas.
“An Experiment on Protecting Intellectual Property,” Experimental Economics, 17 (4), December, 2014, pp. 691-716, with Joy A. Buchanan.
“Violence, Access, and Competition in the Market for Protection,” European Journal of Political Economy, 29, March, 2013, pp. 1-17, with Douglas B. Rogers and Adam C. Smith. (Lead article)
“Go West Young Man: Self-selection and Endogenous Property Rights,” Southern Economic Journal, 79(4), April, 2013, pp. 886-904, with Taylor Jaworski.
“Insiders, Outsiders, and the Adaptability of Informal Rules to Ecological Shocks,” Ecological Economics, 90, June, 2013, pp. 29-40, with Erik O. Kimbrough.
“Comparative Approaches to Studying Strategy: Towards an Evolutionary Account of Primate Decision Making,” Evolutionary Psychology, 11(3), July, 2013, pp. 606-627, with Sarah F. Brosnan, Michael J. Beran, Audrey E. Parrish, and Sara A. Price.
“War of Attrition: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment on Market Exit,” Economic Inquiry, 51(4), October, 2013, pp. 2018-2027, with Ryan Oprea and Arthur Zillante.
“Anarchy, Groups, and Conflict: An Experiment on the Emergence of Protective Associations,” Social Choice and Welfare, 38(2), February, 2012, pp. 325-353, with Adam C. Smith and David B. Skarbek.
“Contra Private Fairness,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 71(2), pp. 407-435, April, 2012.
“Old World Monkeys are More Similar to Humans than New World Monkeys When Playing a Coordination Game,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1733), 22 April 2012, pp. 1522-1530, with Sarah F. Brosnan and Michael J. Beran.
“Risk and the Evolution of Human Exchange,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270(1740), 7 August 2012, pp. 2930-2935, with Hillard Kaplan, Eric Schniter, and Vernon L. Smith.
“The Primacy of Entrepreneurs in Exploiting Long-Distance Exchange,” Managerial and Decision Economics, 33(5), July-September, 2012, pp. 385-407, with Erik O. Kimbrough.
“An Experimental Economic History of Whalers’ Rules of Capture,” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 28(4), October, 2012, pp. 617-656, with Taylor Jaworski, Karl Schurter, and Andrew Smyth. (Lead article) Oliver E. Williamson prize for best article
“Using Experimental Economics to Understand Competition,” in Competition Policy and The Economic Approach: Foundations and Limitations, Josef Drexl and Rupprecht Podszun (eds.), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011.
“The Territorial Foundations of Human Property,” Evolution & Human Behavior, 32(5), September, 2011, pp. 297-304, with Peter DeScioli. (Lead article)
“Geography and Social Networks in Nascent Distal Exchange,” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 167(3), September, 2011, pp. 409-433, with Erik O. Kimbrough. (Lead article)
“Responses to the Assurance game in Monkeys, Apes, and Humans Using Equivalent Procedures,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(8), February 22, 2011, pp. 3442-3447, with Sarah F. Brosnan, Audrey Parrish, Michael J. Beran, Timothy Flemming, Lisa Heimbauer, Catherine Talbot, Susan P. Lambeth, and Steven J. Schapiro.
“Social Preferences aren’t Preferences,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 73(1), pp. 77-82, January, 2010.
“More Information, More Ripoffs: Experiments with Public and Private Information in Markets with Asymmetric Information,” Review of Industrial Organization, 36(1), February, 2010, pp. 1-16, with Arthur Zillante. (Lead article)
“Exchange, Theft, and the Social Formation of Property,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 74(3), June, 2010, pp. 206-229, with Erik O. Kimbrough and Vernon L. Smith.
“An Experimental Analysis of the Demand for Payday Loans,” The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 10(1), (Topics), October, 2010, pp. 1-29, with David W. Findlay, James W. Meehan Jr., Charissa Wellford, and Karl Schurter.
“Discovering Economics in the Classroom with Experimental Economics and the Scottish Enlightenment,” International Review of Economics Education, 9(2), November, 2010, pp. 10-33, with Taylor Jaworski and Vernon L. Smith. (Lead article)
“Justice and Fairness in the Dictator Game,” Southern Economic Journal, 76(1), July, 2009, pp. 130-145, with Karl Schurter.
“Exchange and Specialisation as a Discovery Process,” Economic Journal, 119, July, 2009, pp. 1162-1188, with Sean Crockett and Vernon L. Smith.
“An Experimental Investigation of Hobbesian Jungles,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 66(3-4), June, 2008, pp. 669-686, with Benjamin Powell.
“Historical Property Rights, Sociality, and the Emergence of Impersonal Exchange in Long-distance Trade,” American Economic Review, 98(3), June, 2008, pp. 1009-39, with Erik O. Kimbrough and Vernon L. Smith.
“Fixed Revenue Auctions,” Economic Inquiry, 46(3), July, 2008, pp. 342-354, with Cary A. Deck.
“Experimental Gasoline Markets,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 68(1), pp. 134-149, July, 2008, with Cary A. Deck.
“Language Games of Reciprocity.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 68(2), pp. 365-377, November, 2008.
“Incremental Approaches to Establishing Trust,” Experimental Economics, 11(4), December, 2008, pp. 370-389, with Robert Kurzban and Mary Rigdon.