Culture as the New Frontier of Economics
The starting point for this article is the new book by Sjoerd Beugelsdijk and Robbert Maseland “Culture in Economics: History, Methodological Reflections and Contemporary Applications”. This book reflects a certain symptom in economics: interest in culture returns to this discipline after a long period of neglect. Currently, such topics as the culture of economists, the corporate culture and the study of cultural factors in economic development are attracting interest. However, this process is ambiguous. On the one hand, this is a very predictable expansion of imperialist ambitions of economists who are ready to include various new factors that somehow reflect culture in their studies. On the other hand, regarding a number of issues, any explanation and research are impossible without understanding that economy itself is a part of society and culture (“embeddedness” and reversed causality problems). The article shows that subject fields of culture and institutions intersect, though culture is more concerned with informal institutions. The authors make an assumption that a simple expansion of standard techniques used by economists is clearly not enough. In particular, the metaphor of cultural capital is hardly justified and cannot be regarded as an heuristic metaphor and, therefore, compared with human capital. Any in-depth and concrete research “falls through” into culture. In order to conduct a research at the new stage, it is necessary to expand the theoretical apparatus and the language of the economics: we need a new three-dimensional stereoscopic view promising new adventures of culture in the economic theory.
Volume (Year): 5 (2017)
Issue (Month): (October)
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