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Social Evolution, Corporate Culture, and Exploitation

  • Ekkehart Schlicht

It has been claimed that the market fosters selfishness and thereby undermines the moral basis of society. This thesis has been developed with an emphasis on market exchange. Everyday life is, however, predominantly shaped by interactions in the workplace rather than by shopping behaviour. This essay places emphasis on firm organization, rather than market interaction, in moulding cultural traits. Firms emerge in markets and thrive by kindling cooperative attitudes. In this way, the market generates nice traits in an indirect way: it encourages firm organizations that foster mutualism rather than selfishness.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 160 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 232-

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200406)160:2_232:seccae_2.0.tx_2-c
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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  4. Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles & Melissa Osborne, 2001. "Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 155-158, May.
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