Culture and Economic Explanation: Economics in the US and Japan

Donald W Katzner

Culture plays an important role in shaping the nature and content of economics. This fascinating book compares the two cultures of Japan and the United States and provides insights into the economic workings and differences between the two nations.

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Book Information

Publisher: Routledge
Publish Date: 04/01/2008
Pages: 198
ISBN-13: 9780415774796
ISBN-10: 0415774799
Language: English

Full Description

There is a common view among many economists that one model is capable of explaining a specific type of behaviour in all cultural environments. It is only necessary to make appropriate adjustments to bring the model in line with prevailing cultural conditions. This book argues that such an approach can lead to error, in particular to incorrect explanation and understanding of the phenomenon in question, and therefore may result in inappropriate policy recommendations. Katzner's fascinating book compares the two cultures of Japan and USA and provides insights into the economic workings and differences between the two nations. He shows that an understanding of the culture of a country is essential to the development of appropriate models of economic behaviour of economic agents in that country, and that the failure to understand cultural differences weakens the predictive (and prescriptive) power of economic models. The argument is made in a collection of essays supporting the following: (a) Thought processes are heavily dependent on cultural environments and (b) Because cultures vary widely from society to society, to explain economic behaviour in one society may require a model with a completely different structure from that in another. The book applies this argument to elucidate certain features of economic theorizing and to explain the so-called Japanese economic miracle.

About Donald W Katzner

Donald W. Katzner is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts / Amherst, USA.

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