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Making sense of institutional change in China: The cultural dimension of economic growth and modernization

  • Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten

Building on a new model of institutions proposed by Aoki and the systemic approach to economic civilizations outlined by Kuran, this paper attempts an analysis of the cultural foundations of recent Chinese economic development. I argue that the cultural impact needs to be conceived as a creative process that involves linguistic entities and other public social items in order to provide integrative meaning to economic interactions and identities to different agents involved. I focus on three phenomena that stand at the center of economic culture in China, networks, localism and modernism. I eschew the standard dualism of individualism vs. collectivism in favour of a more detailed view on the self in social relationships. The Chinese pattern of social relations, guanxi, is also a constituent of localism, i.e. a peculiar arrangement and resulting dynamics of central-local interactions in governing the economy. Localism is balanced by culturalist controls of the center, which in contemporary China builds on the worldview of modernism. Thus, economic modernization is a cultural phenomenon on its own sake. I summarize these interactions in a process analysis based on Aoki's framework.

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Paper provided by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in its series Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series with number 181.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:181
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  1. C. Herrmann-Pillath., 2011. "A Neurolinguistic Approach to Performativity in Economics," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 2.
  2. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2008. "Neuroeconomics, naturalism and language," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 108, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  3. Abrar, Kamyar, 2006. "Fusionskontrolle in dynamischen Netzsektoren am Beispiel des Breitbandkabelsektors: zugleich ein kritischer Beitrag zur Kartellrechtsdogmatik des Bundeskartellamts nach Iesy/Ish und TC/Ish und sektors," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 75, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  4. Bannier, Christina E. & Feess, Eberhard, 2010. "When high-powered incentive contracts reduce performance: choking under pressure as a screening device," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 135, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  5. Bannier, Christina E., 2009. "Is there a hold-up benefit in heterogeneous multiple bank financing?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 117, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  6. Wollersheim, Jutta & Barthel, Erich, 2008. "Kulturunterschiede bei Mergers & Acquisitions: Entwicklung eines Konzeptes zur Durchführung einer Cultural Due Diligence," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 94, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  7. Libman, Alexander, 2010. "Constitutions, regulations, and taxes: Contradictions of different aspects of decentralization," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 138, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  8. Bannier, Christina E., 2007. "Heterogeneous multiple bank financing: does it reduce inefficient credit-renegotation incidences?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 83, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  9. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2010. "Entropy, function and evolution: naturalizing Peircian semiosis," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 134, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  10. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2009. "Kulturelle Hybridisierung und Wirtschaftstransformation in China," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 115, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  11. Hankir, Yassin & Rauch, Christian & Umber, Marc P., 2009. "It's the market power, stupid! Stock return patterns in international bank M&A," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 129, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  12. Roßbach, Peter, 2009. "Die Rolle des Internets als Informationsbeschaffungsmedium in Banken," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 120, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  13. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten & Libman, Alexander & Xiaofan, Yu, 2010. "State and market integration in China: A spatial econometrics approach to 'local protectionism'," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 137, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  14. Bannier, Christina E. & Grote, Michael H., 2008. "Equity gap? - Which equity gap? On the financing structure of Germany's Mittelstand," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 106, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  15. Hirsch, Christian & Bannier, Christina E., 2007. "The economics of rating watchlists: evidence from rating changes," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 88, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  16. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2008. "The naturalistic turn in economics: implications for the theory of finance," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 105, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
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