Monday, April 24, 2006
Posner and Becker on the Economics of Culture
Posner emphasizes two important reasons, habit and coordination costs, for why cultures, including those of nations and companies, often change very slowly. I agree with his arguments on why habitual behavior and coordination-network effects are important, and do not have much to add directly to his discussion. Instead, I will try to explain the seeming contradiction that many aspects of national cultures change drastically and often surprisingly quickly. In a nutshell what I claim is that major economic and technological changes frequently trump culture in the sense that they induce enormous changes not only in behavior but also in beliefs.
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