Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xviii

...question by saying that economists found their predictions became inconclusive if they took account of every particular law, custom, or institution. But “real people” still insisted that their own eyes showed them how customs and beliefs led to behavior that market rationality...

PART I: CULTURAL ANALYSIS

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1. The Revival of Cultural Explanation

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pp. 3-30

...opinion—but the majority agree about culture only in the sense that they no longer give it much thought. The hope that a strong relationship would be found between economic and cultural change mostly faded during the 1960s and 1970s. Those who still believe that culture is formative, whether they are “real people” or...

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2. Cultures Fluid and Sticky

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pp. 31-51

...Firstly, although few economists now make much of it, the topic looms uninvestigated in the background of a surprising number of scholarly discussions. Secondly, in both developed and less-developed countries assertions about it are used to justify restricting individual freedom. Right-thinking people are expected to agree about...

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3. Culture as Mediocrity

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pp. 52-84

...customs, many likely to strike outsiders as bizarre. It is as if there is nothing that has not been practiced somewhere by some group. Yet however strange other people’s customs may appear, they are usually interpreted as purposeful. They are assumed to meet real needs...

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4. The Means of Merging

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pp. 85-107

...been for societies, belief systems, and languages to come into contact, borrow from one another, and at times merge. The average size of cultures—groups who share beliefs and practices— has increased continually, though not continuously. When the degree of interaction rises, information becomes cheaper and available to more people...

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5. Institutions as Cryptogams

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pp. 108-132

...eighteenth-century Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus, in anticipation that their hidden means of reproduction would eventually be discovered. We can borrow the term to describe the cryptic potential of a number of early institutions in Europe and need not pursue the botany. In the 1730s Linnaeus became the first president...

PART II: CULTURAL COMMENTARY

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6. Cultures of Immigration

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pp. 135-160

...which they are amalgams is to ask how immigrant societies develop. The question is, What travels? The “Great Experiment” of migration from Britain and Europe to Colonial America and the United States is especially illuminating. The flow of settlers was vast and lasted for centuries. At first glance, the process seems to have been a matter of transferring British society holus-bolus....

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7. East Asia’s Experience

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pp. 161-193

...British industrial revolution, second, the industrialization of Europe, third, the industrialization of the United States, and now, fourth, the “East Asian Miracle.” The transformation of East Asia can be seen as technological catch-up but is remarkable in its own right because of the...

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8. Economic Changes, Cultural Responses

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pp. 194-222

...too plausible. Certainly, few imagined the prosperity of the late twentieth century, much less the freer lifestyles that accompanied it. Postwar wintriness took time to thaw, yet thaw it did. Americans call people who came to maturity in the 1950s “the generation that never showed up,” but even among their anxieties and pieties a...

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9. Cultural Protection

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pp. 223-252

...We still live in a world of multiple distortions, where groups of producers engage in rent seeking and attempts to block trade and competition. As Mancur Olson observed about such coalitions, special interests brook no limitation on what they seek to take out of society’s common pot...

PART III: CONCLUSION

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10. Culture as Reciprocity

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pp. 255-272

...cultural explanation. This was partly because culture was hard to isolate and partly because other variables seemed more tractable and more significant. A surprising number did continue to allude to the value systems underlying economic growth and stagnation, but only in passing. Yet a matter assumed, however informally, to be fundamental...

Bibliography

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pp. 273-290

Index

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pp. 291-297