Unintended Consequences: The Impact of Factor Endowments, Culture, and Politics on Long-Run Economic Performance / Edition 1

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In this book, based on the 1995 Ohlin Lectures, Deepak Lal provides an accessible, interdisciplinary account of the role of culture in shaping economic performance. Topics addressed include a possible future "clash of civilizations," the role of Asian values in the East Asian economic miracle, the cultural versus economic causes of social decay in the West, and whether modernization leads to Westernization. Lal makes an important distinction between material and cosmological beliefs, showing how both were initially shaped by factor endowments and how they have evolved in response to changing historical pressures in different civilizations.Lal's first major theme is the interaction of factor endowments,culture, and politics in explaining modern intensive growth in the West. The other major theme is the role of individualism—an inadvertent legacy of the medieval Catholic Church—in promoting this growth, and the strange metamorphoses this has caused in both the West's cosmological beliefs and the interaction between "the West and the rest." Lal takes account of the relevant literature in history,anthropology, social psychology, evolutionary biology, neurology, and sociology, and the economic history of the regions and cultures that form Eurasia. An appendix shows how the stories Lal tells can be described by four formal economic models.

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Editorial Reviews

Finance & Development
Lal delivered [these] lectures when the Asian "miracle" was in full flower....It would be interesting to see what lessons he would draw from the Asian crisis in a future revision of his thought-provoking book.
Finance & Development
Lal delivered [these] lectures when the Asian "miracle" was in full flower....It would be interesting to see what lessons he would draw from the Asian crisis in a future revision of his thought-provoking book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262621540
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Series: Ohlin Lectures
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Deepak Lal is the James S. Coleman Professor of International Development Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

1 On Culture
Social Equilibria
Nature and Nurture
Different Social Equilibria
Individualism and Communalism
The Emotions: Shame and Guilt
The Anthropological Record
Cosmology, Polity, Economy
2 The Ancient Civilization I: Egypt, Mesopotamia,
Smithian and Promethean Growth
Agriculture, Civilization, and Nomads
The Ancient Near East
3 The Ancient Civilizations II: India and China
4 Islam
The Rise of the Arabs
Muslim Conquest and Retreat
Material Factors
Cosmological Beliefs
The Polity
Law, Society, Economy
The Closing of the Muslim Mind
Islam and the Economy
5 The Rise of the West
The Materialist Base
The Institutional Base
The Rise of Christian Europe and Individualism
The Nuclear Family and the Rise of the West
Love, SeX, Sin, and Guilt
The Greek OrthodoX Church and Russia
6 The Course of Individualism
The Course of Augustine's City of God
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Economic Liberalism
The Present Situation
7 India and China in Modern Times
8 The Far East
The East Asian "Miracle" Economies
9 The West and the Rest
Manners, Shame, and Guilt
The Welfare State
10 Conclusions
The Boserup Process
The Model of the Predatory State
Dual Preferences and Changes in Public Opinion
Factor Proportions and Agrarian Structure
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