Gerard Roland, Berkeley

ESOP seminar. Gerard Roland is a Morris Cox Professor of Economics at the University of California Berkeley. He will present a paper entitled "The deep historical roots of modern culture: a comparative perspective".

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Gerard Roland


This paper presents evidence showing that since antiquity there have been two opposed types of institutional systems: one resembling central planning and present in ancient China, ancient Egypt, the Inca Empire and other territorial states, and another one with strong market institutions, protection of property rights present mostly in city-states not just in the Mediterranean but throughout the world. Evidence is presented that these institutional differences dating back to the antiquity, and shaped by special geographical conditions, consistent with the idea that these institutional differences can be seen to be at the root of the two cultural systems in today’s world: individualism and collectivism. These cultural differences have effects on economic performance and institutions in today’s world.

Read the full paper here [pdf]

Host: Bård Harstad

Published Dec. 19, 2018 1:55 PM - Last modified Mar. 20, 2019 1:25 PM