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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ekkehart Schlicht, 2004. "Social Evolution, Corporate Culture, and Exploitation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(2), pages 232-232, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200406)160:2_232:seccae_2.0.tx_2-c

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Stark, Oded, 1993. "How Altruism Can Prevail in an Evolutionary Environment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 149-155, May.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    3. 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.
    4. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul T. de Beer & Robert H.J. Mosch, 2007. "The waning and restoration of social norms: a formal model of the dynamics of norm compliance and norm violation," DNB Working Papers 131, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. Lewis, John, 2009. "Hitting and hoping?: Meeting the exchange rate and inflation criteria during a period of nominal convergence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 508-524, December.
    3. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 2004. "Marshall on Custom and Competition," Discussion Papers in Economics 369, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure


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