My research

My research and writing tend to revolve around the following themes:

  • The intersection of economics and evolutionary biology (comprising most of the papers below)
  • How behavioural economics could be better, be that better underlying theory, better research practices or better applied work
  • The use of algorithms to supplant human judgment, particularly using simple heuristics, and how to establish the right human-algorithm mix.

Below is my academic work (largely neglected since 2016, although about to be revived with my return to academia in 2022). For my non-academic writing, see here.



Collins and Page (2019) “The heritability of fertility makes world population stabilization unlikely in the foreseeable futureEvolution & Human Behavior 40(1), 105-111 (pdf) (post). Discussion at Forbes and Institute for Family Studies.


Baer, Collins, Maalaps and den Boer (2016) “Sperm use economy of honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens” (2016) Ecology and Evolution 6(9), 2877-2885 (pdf) (post)

Collins, Baer and Weber (2016) “Economics in Evolutionary Biology: A Review” (2016) Economic Record 92(297), 291-312 (pdf) (post)


Collins, Baer and Weber (2015) “Sexual Selection, Conspicuous Consumption and Economic Growth” (2015) Journal of Bioeconomics 17(2), 189-206 (pdf) (post). Discussion in The Times, The Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, The Conversation, Stumbling and Mumbling, and in The Wall Street Journal (Matt Ridley). And Paul Frijters has prepared a critique of an earlier version, which you can find here.


Collins, Baer and Weber (2014) “Economic Growth and Evolution: Parental Preferences for Quality and Quantity of Offspring” (2014) Macroeconomic Dynamics 18, 1773-1796 (pdf) (post)

Working papers (in progress)

Population, Technological Progress and the Evolution of Innovative Potential (with Boris Baer and Juerg Weber) (post)

Working papers (inactive)

Evolution, Fertility and the Ageing Population (with Oliver Richards) (post)


I completed a PhD at the University of Western Australia. My thesis can be downloaded here, although most of the chapters that make up the thesis were published and are listed above. You can access the examiner reports here.