Table of Contents

Culture and Economic Action

Culture and Economic Action

New Thinking in Political Economy series

Edited by Laura E. Grube and Virgil Henry Storr

This edited volume, a collection of both theoretical essays and empirical studies, presents an Austrian economics perspective on the role of culture in economic action. The authors illustrate that culture cannot be separated from economic action, but that it is in fact part of all decision-making.

Chapter 7: How does culture influence economic development?

Don Lavoie and Emily Chamlee-Wright

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, austrian economics, development economics


A culture is an aggregate of divergent and contradictory pictures, and each picture is true. (Hidetoshi Kato, cited in Kotkin 1992: p. 10) Agrarian reform, economic reform, financial reform, constitutional reform? Certainly Brazil needs reforms and achievements of all kinds—railways and highways, hydroelectric energy . . . but what is really needed is a reform within the Brazilian mind. Don’t have any illusions: without a reform within the mind . . . that makes us shape within ourselves, not only intellectually but . . . above all emotionally, a radical shift of concepts and attitudes about life, Brazil, and the universe . . . we shall continue to be what we are: a country that progresses but does not ennoble itself, a country without a message for the world, a disorganized collectivity that lacks moral initiative and public spirit . . . that permanently awaits miracle workers or caudillos to solve the problems that only spiritually, morally, and organically integrated communities can really resolve. (Clodomir Vianna Moog, Bandeirantes e Pioneiros, 1964: p. 198, cited in Harrison 1992: p. 50)

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