Cultural economics

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Cultural economics is the branch of economics that studies the relation of culture to economic outcomes. Here, 'culture' is defined by shared beliefs and preferences of respective groups. Programmatic issues include whether and how much culture matters as to economic outcomes and what its relation is to institutions.[1]

Applications include the study of religion,[2] social norms.[3] social identity,[4] fertility,[5] beliefs in redistributive justice,[6] ideology,[7] hatred,[8] terrorism,[9] trust,[10] and the culture of economics.[11][12] A general analytical theme is how ideas and behaviors are spread among individuals through the formation of social capital,[13] social networks[14] and processes such as social learning, as in the theory of social evolution[15] and information cascades.[16] Methods include case studies and theoretical and empirical modeling of cultural transmission within and across social groups.[17] In 2013 Said E. Dawlabani added the value systems approach to the cultural emergence aspect of macroeconomics.[18]

Development[edit]

Cultural economics develops from how wants and tastes are formed in society. This is partly due to nurture aspects, or what type of environment one is raised in, as it is the internalization of one’s upbringing that shapes their future wants and tastes.[19] Acquired tastes can be thought of as an example of this, as they demonstrate how preferences can be shaped socially.[20]

A key thought area that separates the development of cultural economics from traditional economics is a difference in how individuals arrive at their decisions. While a traditional economist will view decision making as having both implicit and explicit consequences, a cultural economist would argue that an individual will not only arrive at their decision based on these implicit and explicit decisions but based on trajectories. These trajectories consist of regularities, which have been built up throughout the years and guide individuals in their decision-making process.[21]

Combining value systems and systems thinking[edit]

Economists have also started to look at cultural economics with a systems thinking approach. In this approach, the economy and culture are each viewed as a single system where “interaction and feedback effects were acknowledged, and where in particular the dynamic were made explicit.”[22] In this sense, the interdependencies of culture and the economy can be combined and better understood by following this approach.

Said E. Dawlabani's book MEMEnomics: The Next-Generation Economic System[18] combines the ideas of value systems (see value (ethics)) and systems thinking to provide one of the first frameworks that explores the effect of economic policies on culture. The book explores the intersections of multiple disciplines such as cultural development, organizational behavior, and Memetics all in an attempt to explore the roots of cultural economics.[23]

Growth[edit]

The advancing pace of new technology is transforming how the public consumes and shares culture. The cultural economic field has seen great growth with the advent of online social networking which has created productivity improvements in how culture is consumed. New technologies have also lead to cultural convergence where all kinds of culture can be accessed on a single device. Throughout their upbringing, younger persons of the current generation are consuming culture faster than their parents ever did, and through new mediums. The smartphone is a blossoming example of this where books, music, talk, artwork and more can all be accessed on a single device in a matter of seconds.[24] This medium and the culture surrounding it is beginning to have an effect on the economy, whether it be increasing communication while lowering costs, lowering the barriers of entry to the technology economy, or making use of excess capacity.[25]

An example of culture being consumed via smartphone.

This field has also seen growth through the advent of new economic studies that have put on a cultural lens. For example, a recent study on Europeans living with their families into adulthood was conducted by Paola Sapienza, a professor at Northwestern University. The study found that those of Southern European descent tend to live at home with their families longer than those of Northern European descent. Sapienza added cultural critique to her analysis of the research, revealing that it is Southern European culture to stay at home longer and then related this to how those who live at home longer have fewer children and start families later, thus contributing to Europe's falling birthrates.[26] Sapienza's work is an example of how the growth of cultural economics is beginning to spread across the field.[27]

Sustainable Development and Cultural Economics[edit]

An area that cultural economics has a strong presence in is sustainable development. Sustainable development has been defined as “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs…”.[28] Culture plays an important role in this as it can determine how people view preparing for these future generations. Delayed gratification is a cultural economic issue that developed countries are currently dealing with. Economists argue that to ensure that the future is better than today, certain measures must be taken such as collecting taxes or “going green” to protect the environment. Policies such as these are hard for today’s politicians to promote who want to win the vote of today’s voters who are concerned with the present and not the future. People want to see the benefits now, not in the future.[29]

Economist David Throsby has proposed the idea of culturally sustainable development which compasses both the cultural industries (such as the arts) and culture (in the societal sense). He has created a set of criteria in regards to for which policy prescriptions can be compared to in order to ensure growth for future generations. The criteria are as follows:[30]

  • (1) Advancement of material and non-material well-being: implies balance amongst economic, social, and cultural forces
  • (2) Intergenerational equity and the maintenance of cultural capital: current generation must recognize their responsibility to future generations
  • (3) Equity within the present generation: distribution of cultural resources must be fair
  • (4) Recognition of interdependence: policy must understand the connections between economic, cultural and other variables within an overall system.

With these guidelines, Throsby hopes to spur the recognition between culture and economics, which is something he believes has been lacking from popular economic discussions.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Press + button or ctrl + for small-font links below.
       • Raquel Fernández, 2008. "culture and economics." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract and pre-publication copy.
       • Luigi Guiso, Paola Sapienza, and Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20(2), pp. 23-48.
       • Victor A. Ginsburgh & David Throsby ed., 2006, Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, v. 1:
           Mark Casson. "Culture and Economic Performance," Chapter 12, pp. 359-397. Abstract.
           Paul Streeten. "Culture and Economic Development," Chapter 13, pp. 399-412. Abstract.
       • Jeanette D. Snowball, 2008. Measuring the Value of Culture, Springer. Description and Arrow-page searchable chapter links.
       • Joseph Henrich et al., 2005. "'Economic Man' in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-scale Societies," Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28(6), pp. 795-815.
       • Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, 36(1), pp. 75–111.
       • Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Institutions and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, 6(2/3),2008), pp. 255-294.
  2. ^ Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, 36(3), pp. 1465–1495.
       • Laurence R. Iannaccone and Eli Berman, 2008. "religion, economics of," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract.
  3. ^ H. Peyton Young, 2008. "social norms." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract
       • Kenneth G. Binmore and Larry Samuelson, 1994. "An Economist's Perspective on the Evolution of Norms," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 150(1), pp. 45-63. Abstract.
       • Richard A. Posner, 1997. "Social Norms and the Law: An Economic Approach," American Economic Review, 87(2), p p. 365-369.
       • Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy, 2001, Social Economics: Market Behavior in a Social Environment, ch. 10, "The Formation of Norms and Values." Description and table of contents. Harvard University Press.
       • Jess Benhabib, Alberto Bisin, and Matthew Jackson, ed., 2011. Handbook of Social Economics, Elsevier. Vol. 1A: Part 1. Social Preferences, ch. 1-11; Part 2. Social Actions, ch. 12-17. Description & Contents links and chapter-preview links.
       • Arthur J. Robson, 2008. "group selection," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract.
  4. ^ George A. Akerlof and Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115(3), pp. 715–53.
       • _____, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(1), pp. 9–32.
       • _____, 2010. Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being, Princeton University Press. Description & TOC, "Introduction," pp. 3-8, and preview.
  5. ^ Raquel Fernández and Alessandra Fogli, 2006. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," Journal of the European Economic Association, 4(2/3), p p. 552-561.
  6. ^ Roland Bénabou and Jean Tirole, 2006. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 121(2), pp. 699-746.
  7. ^ • Roland Bénabou, 2008. "Ideology," Journal of the European Economic Association, 6(2-3), pp. 321-352..
       • Joseph P. Kalt and Mark A. Zupan, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, 74(3), p p. 279-300. Reprinted in C. Grafton and A. Permaloff, ed., 2005, The Behavioral Study of Political Ideology and Public Policy Formation, ch. 4, pp. 65-104.
       • Bisina, Alberto; Verdier, Thierry (March 2000). "A model of cultural transmission, voting and political ideology". European Journal of Political Economy. Elsevier. 16 (1): 5–29. doi:10.1016/S0176-2680(99)00045-2. 
       • D. Andrew Austin and Nathaniel T. Wilcox, 2007. "Believing in Economic Theories: Sex, Lies, Evidence, Trust, and Ideology," Economic Inquiry 45(3), pp. 502–518.
       • Timur Kuran, 1995. Private Truths, Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification. Harvard University Press. Description and scroll to chapter-preview links.
  8. ^ Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Political Economy Of Hatred," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120(1), pp. 45-86.
  9. ^ • S. Brock Blomberg and Gregory D. Hess,`2008. "terrorism, economics of," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract.
       • Alan B. Krueger, 2008. What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism, Princeton. Description, Introduction, and ch. 1 preview.
  10. ^ • Joyce Berg, John Dickhaut, and Kevin McCabe, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, 10(1), pp. 122-142. Abstract.
       • Raymond Fismana and Tarun Khanna, 1999. "Is Trust a Historical Residue? Information Flows and Trust Levels." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 38(1), pp. 79-92. Abstract.
       • Nava Ashraf, Iris Bohnet, and Nikita Piankov, 2006. "Decomposing Trust and Trustworthiness," Experimental Economics, 9(3), p p. 193-208.
       • Paul J. Zak and Stephen Knack, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, 111(470), p p. 295-321.
       • Patrick Francois and Jan Zabojnik, 2005. "Trust, Social Capital, and Economic Development," Journal of the European Economic Association, 3(1), p p. 51-94.
       • Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, 2006. "A Note on the Theory and Measurement of Trust in Explaining Differences in Economic Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, 30(3), pp. 371–387.
       • Swee-Hoon Chuah et al., 2007. "Do Cultures Clash? Evidence from Cross-national Ultimatum Game Experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 64(1), pp. 35-48. Abstract.
  11. ^ • Melvin W. Reder, 1999. Economics: The Culture of a Controversial Science, Description and chapter links.
       • Joseph J. Spengler,1970. "Notes on the International Transmission of Economic Ideas," History of Political Economy, 2(1), p p. 133-151.
       • Yuval Yonay and Daniel Breslau, 2006. "Marketing Models: The Culture of Mathematical Economics," Sociological Forum, 21(3), p p. 345-386. HTMl
  12. ^ As at Journal of Economic Literature category JEL: Z1 Cultural Economics,....
  13. ^ Partha Dasgupta, 2008. "social capital," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract.
       • Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?" Journal of Economic Literature, 40(1), pp. 139-154 (close Bookmarks tab).
  14. ^ James Moody and Martina Morris. "social networks, economic relevance of," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition Abstract.
  15. ^ • Paul Seabright, 2008. "hunters, gatherers, cities and evolution," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract.
       • Alberto Bisin and Thierry Verdier, 2008. "cultural transmission," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract.
       • Joel M. Guttman, 2003. "Repeated Interaction and the Evolution of Preferences for Reciprocity," Economic Journal, 113(489), p p. 631-656.
       • Alberto Bisin et al., 2004. "Cooperation as a Transmitted Cultural Trait," Rationality and Society, 16(4), 477-507. Abstract.
  16. ^ • Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer, and Ivo Welch, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change as Informational Cascades." Journal of Political Economy, 100(5), pp. 992-1026.
       • Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer, and Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 12(3), pp. 151-170.
       • Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer, and Ivo Welch, 2008. "information cascades," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract.
  17. ^ • Alberto Bisin and Thierry Verdier, 2008. "cultural transmission. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract.
       • Rob Boyd, 2008. "cross-cultural experiments." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Abstract.
       • José A. Scheinkman, 2008. "social interactions (theory)," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition.Abstract.
       • Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(3), pp.115-36 here or here or with linked citations.
       • Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, 107(6), Part 2, p p. S95-S126. Complete abstract.
  18. ^ a b Said Elias Dawlabani. MEMEnomics; The Next Generation Economic System, ISBN 978-1590799963
  19. ^ Stretton, Hugh (1999). Economics. Pluto Press. pp. 247–255 – via JSTOR. 
  20. ^ Hutter, Michael (1996). "The Impact of Cultural Economics on Economic Theory". Journal of Cultural Economics. 20: 263–268 – via JSTOR. 
  21. ^ Weber, Roberto; Dawes, Robyn (2005). The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition. Princeton University Press. p. 101 – via JSTOR. 
  22. ^ Throsby, David (1995). "Culture, Economics and Sustainability". Journal of Cultural Economics. 19: 199–216 – via JSTOR. 
  23. ^ "WHAT IS MEMENOMICS | The MEMEnomics Group. Uncovering the values of a sustainable future". www.memenomics.com. Retrieved 2017-03-05. 
  24. ^ Cowen, Tyler (2008). "Why everything has changed: the recent revolution in cultural economics". Journal of Cultural Economics. 32: 261–273 – via JSTOR. 
  25. ^ kayla.mcphail (2016-03-04). "How the Smartphone has Impacted Economic Development". The University of Scranton Online. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  26. ^ "Europe needs many more babies to avert a population disaster". The Guardian. 23 August 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  27. ^ "Is Economic Growth a Question of Culture?". Kellogg Insight. 2014-09-02. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  28. ^ "Sustainable Development". International Institute for Sustainable Development. Retrieved March 4, 2017. 
  29. ^ Galston, William (2014). "Economics and Culture in Market Democracies". The New Challenge to Market Democracies. Brookings Institution Press. pp. 14–18 – via JSTOR. 
  30. ^ Throsby, David (1995). "Journal of Cultural Economics". Journal of Cultural Economics. 19: 199–206 – via JSTOR. 

Journals[edit]