Morality, culture and economic organization

A now extensive literature in New Institutional Economics (NIE), which I guess developed over the last ten to fifteen years or so, explores how different systems of moral and cultural belief systems produce different forms of economic organization. People such as Ayner Greif and Partha Dasgupta trace differences in economic wealth and growth to differences in institutions, to differences in culture, to differences in historical development, to differences in geographical environments, etc.. This research is popularized by authors such as Jared Diamond. On the other hand, one finds a number of (American) economists who stress the influence of economic growth, and of the capitalist system in general, on moral and cultural beliefs and behaviors. I’m thinking of, for instance, Deirdre McCloskey’s The Bourgeois Virtues and Benjamin Friedman’s Moral Consequences of Growth. These are of course not new themes, but does someone know of any comparative, historical, taxonomic etc literature on these recent development in these two lines of research, in particular regarding the NIE people?

2 thoughts on “Morality, culture and economic organization

  1. I don’t know if this is at all what you are looking for, but Fourcade and Healy, two economic sociologists, recently published an annual review article on “Moral Views of Market Society” that is widely acclaimed within economic sociology and touches on at least a few of these issues. (Sorry for the duplicate comment, the first version had a URL with a proxy server in it, please delete).

  2. Dear Dan Hirschman, thanks very much. That is a place I hadn’t yet looked. As I am currently teaching a course on institutional economics I am both perusing the literature to get a better grip on the use of institutions in economics, as well as figuring out its link to what presently defines me as historian of economics: behavioral economics. This link will help most certainly.

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