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American Economic Review: Vol. 91 No. 4 (September 2001)


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Social Culture and Economic Performance

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Fang, Hanming. 2001. "Social Culture and Economic Performance." American Economic Review, 91(4): 924-937.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.91.4.924


The connection between obtaining higher paying jobs and undertaking some seemingly irrelevant activity is interpreted as "social culture." In the context of a society trying to adopt a new technology, I show that by allowing the firms to give preferential treatment to workers based on some "cultural activity," the society can partially overcome an informational free-riding problem. Therefore, social culture may affect the economic performance by altering the effective production technology of the economy.

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Fang, Hanming (Yale U)

JEL Classifications

Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology
J31: Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
O33: Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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