Culture in Economics: History, Methodological Reflections by Sjoerd Beugelsdijk

By Sjoerd Beugelsdijk

Many economists now settle for that casual associations and tradition play an important position in fiscal results. pushed by way of the paintings of economists like Nobel laureates Douglass North and Gary Becker, there's a big physique of labor that invokes cultural and institutional components to construct a extra entire and real looking concept of financial habit. This e-book offers a accomplished evaluate of analysis during this zone, sketching the most premises and demanding situations confronted by way of the sphere. the 1st half introduces and explains some of the theoretical techniques to learning tradition in economics, going again to Smith and Weber, and addresses the methodological concerns that have to be thought of while together with tradition in economics. the second one a part of the e-book then offers readers with a chain of examples that convey how the cultural technique can be utilized to give an explanation for fiscal phenomena in 4 varied components: entrepreneurship, belief, foreign company and comparative company governance

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In this “overtime,” which represents labor inputs that are not paid for by the capitalist, surplus value is produced by the laborer. This surplus value results in a difference between production costs and rewards and makes the production process profitable to the capitalist. The reason why laborers can be forced to work more than they would strictly need to for their survival lies in the monopolistic control over the means of production by the capitalist. Because the laborer is dependent on capital to produce anything, this puts the capitalist in a position to exploit labor and, in a way, steal part of the value produced by laborers.

Culture thus was differential, but still a product of development. This position is perhaps most clearly taken by Wilhelm Roscher, although in some ways being predecessor rather than member of the Historical School. Whereas the later historicists would make a more downrightly hermeneutic turn and dissociate themselves avidly from classical and neoclassical economics, Roscher was more accommodating. He did not seek to develop a new theory of economics, but tried to transplant the historical method into economics as it was.

As noted by Wolf (1999: 21), ideology commonly refers to purposive, self-interested conflicts between factions within communities. It is perhaps the essence of ideology that it is discursively debated rather than unquestioningly shared by the whole of a community. That makes it essentially different from culture. Institutions are often defined as “the rules of the game” (North 1990) or, slightly more elaborately, as “a self-sustaining system of shared beliefs about how the game is played” (Aoki 2001).

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