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Three Essays on Culture and Economic Activity

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dc.contributor.advisor Boettke, Peter J. John, Arielle
dc.creator John, Arielle en_US 2013-08-09T15:38:07Z 2013-08-09T15:38:07Z 2013 en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the influence of culture on economic activity. I demonstrate that the concept of culture is similar to the concept of a constitution, since both emerge as spontaneous orders, both constrain and thus enable certain actions in order to generate predictable behavior and encourage cooperation within groups, and both bind people's decision-making in an "intermediate" way, making them rigid to change, but not static. I further examine the cultural constitutions of different ethnic groups in Trinidad and Tobago, and find that a person's culture influences her decision to become self-employed. Finally, I examine attitudes towards entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago and demonstrate that while individuals there are alert to profit opportunities for cultural and institutional reasons, they are simultaneously discouraged from exploiting those profit opportunities for other cultural and institutional reasons. This thesis shows that to understand the incentives people weigh in their economic decisions, economists require a theoretical notion of culture that allows for a rich description of a group's history.
dc.format.extent 117 pages en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Copyright 2013 Arielle John en_US
dc.subject Economics en_US
dc.subject Culture en_US
dc.subject Entrepreneurship en_US
dc.subject Trinidad and Tobago en_US
dc.title Three Essays on Culture and Economic Activity en_US
dc.type Dissertation en Doctoral en Economics en George Mason University en

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