Culture and Economics

  • Raquel Fernandez
Reference work entry


Economic decisions are made within a social context; as Aristotle reminds us, man is a social animal. The relevance of this statement to economics, however, is far from clear. In what ways, if any, do we need to consider the social nature of man in order to study economic questions? This article attempts to provide a partial answer to this question.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Algan, Y. and Cahuc, P. 2006. Minimum wage: the price of distrust. Mimeo, CREST-INSEE.Google Scholar
  2. Akerlof, G. and Kranton, R.E. 2000. Economics and identity. Quarterly Journal of Economics 115, 715–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bisin, A. and Verdier, T. 2000. Beyond the melting pot: cultural transmission, marriage, and the evolution of ethnic and religious traits. Quarterly Journal of Economics 115, 955–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Botticini, M. and Eckstein, Z. 2005. Jewish occupational selection: education, restrictions, or minorities? Journal of Economic History 65, 922–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowles, S. 1998. Endogenous preferences: the cultural consequences of markets and other economic institutions. Journal of Economic Literature 36, 75–111.Google Scholar
  6. Carroll, C, Rhee, B. and Rhee, C. 1994. Are there cultural effects on saving? Some cross-sectional evidence. Quarterly Journal of Economics 109, 685–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Damasio, A. 1995. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  8. Elster, J. 1989. Social norms and economic theory. Journal of Economic Perspectives 3(4), 99–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fernández, R. 2007a. Women, work, and culture. Journal of the European Economic Association 5, 305–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fernández, R. 2007b. Culture as learning: the evolution of female labor force participation over a century. Mimeo, New York University.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fernández, R. 2007c. The co-evolution of culture and institutions. Mimeo, New York University.Google Scholar
  12. Fernández, R. and Fogli, A. 2005. Culture: an empirical investigation of beliefs, work, and fertility. Working Paper No. 11268. Cambridge, MA: NBER.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fernández, R. and Fogli, A. 2006. Fertility: the role of culture and family experience. Journal of the European Economic Association 4, 552–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fernández, R., Fogli, A. and Olivetti, C. 2004. Mothers and sons: preference formation and female labor force dynamics. Quarterly Journal of Economics 119, 1249–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Greenwood, J. and Guner, N. 2005. Social Change. Economie d’Avant Garde Research Reports No. 9, Economie d’Avant Garde.Google Scholar
  16. Greenwood, J., Seshadri, A. and Yorukoglu, M. 2005. Engines of liberation. Review of Economic Studies 72, 109–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Greif, A. 1994. Cultural beliefs and the organization of society: a historical and theoretical reflection on collectivist and individualist societies. Journal of Political Economy 102, 912–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Greif, A. 2005. Institutions: Theory and History Comparative and Historical Institutional Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Guiso, L., Sapienza, P. and Zingales, L. 2003. People’s opium? Religion and economic attitudes. Journal of Monetary Economics 50, 225–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guiso, L., Sapienza, P. and Zingales, L. 2005. Cultural biases in economic exchange. Working Paper No. 11005. Cambridge, MA: NBER.Google Scholar
  21. Guiso, L., Sapienza, P. and Zingales, L. 2006. Does culture affect economic outcomes? Journal of Economic Perspectives 20(2), 23–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hanushek, E. and Kimko, D. 2000. Schooling, labor-force quality, and the growth of nations. American Economic Review 90, 1184–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Henrich, J., Boyd, R., Bowles, S., Camerer, C, Fehr, E., Gintis, H. and McElreath, R. 2001. In search of homo economicus: behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies. American Economic Review 91(2), 73–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ichino, A. and Maggi, G. 2000. Work environment and individual background: explaining regional shirking differentials in a large Italian firm. Quarterly Journal of Economics 115, 1057–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mailath, G. and Postlewaite, A. 2003. The social context of economic decisions. Journal of the European Economic Association 1, 354–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Manski, C. 2000. Economic analysis of social interactions. Journal of Economic Perspectives 14(3), 115–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Marmot, M.G., Syme, S.L., Kagan, A., Kato, H., Cohen, J.B. and Belsky, J. 1975. Epidemiologic studies of coronary heart disease and stroke in Japanese men living in Japan, Hawaii and California: prevalence of coronary and hypertensive heart disease and associated risk factors. American Journal of Epidemiology 102, 514–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stigler, G. and Becker, G. 1977. De gustibus non est disputandum. American Economic Review 67, 76–90.Google Scholar
  29. Tabellini, G. 2005. Culture and institutions: economic development in the regions of Europe. Working Paper No. 1492, CESifo.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel Fernandez

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations