Arnold Kling  

Culture Matters

The Culture of Growth... Economists: The World's Got a ...

Lawrence E. Harrison writes,

the foregoing suggests the existence of a Universal Culture of Progress: the same Economic Behavior values, whatever their root, create prosperity in widely different geographic/climate, political, institutional, and indeed cultural settings. As far as we know, culture has nothing to do with genes. While cultural change is neither a simple nor easy proposition, it is constantly occurring around the world, and there is no compelling reason why the “universal progress values” should be beyond the reach of any human society.

Read the whole essay. I must say that Cato's Will Wilkinson has put together a very stimulating series of these "Cato Unbound" discussions.

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COMMENTS (2 to date)
RogerM writes:

This is an excellent essay! However, in referring to the Protestant impact on economic development, I wish Harrison had referred to The Disciplinary Revolution: Calvinism and the Rise of the State in Early Modern Europe by Philip S. Gorski. I think Gorski does a better job of explaining Protestantism's impact better than Weber, but I think he gives credit to the wrong group of Protestants. I believe Israel, in his histories of the Dutch Republic, demonstrates that the Calvinists would have retarded development, as they did in Scotland and in Switzerland under Calvin. In the Dutch Republic, it was the Erasmian Protestants, such as Grotius, who were later called Remonstrants, who created the institutions that powered the Dutch economic "miracle".

TGGP writes:

Sounds to me like this might be relevant to immigration policy.

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