Relationship Between Culture And Economic Incentives

Better Essays
In the following, I will argue that in order to understand change we need a concrete understanding of the relationship between culture and economic incentives, not a set primacy of one over the other. Change should ideally be explained by a synthesis in which both culture and economic incentives are taken into account. It is not only about stating that there is a relationship but also about analysing how that relationship works in terms of mechanisms.

section{Synthesis in an Ontologically Divided Field?}
In this section, I will develop the scope for synthesis regarding culture and economic incentives in a political economic analysis of change.
I claim that we need two levels of synthesis, one on the conceptual level, one on the
…show more content…
According to this, the concept of incentives as economic incentives should be softened if we want to understand its link to culture.
There are various types of incentives, not only material also intangible and expressive incentives (cite[195]{leighley1995attitudes}). This may lead to ambiguous responses if they interact with subjective feelings and desires.
Hence, if the model includes non-material incentives like esteem or expressing one 's identity, the relationship between culture and economic incentives becomes a much closer one to analyse.
Expressive incentives have a theoretical significance, which shows that the rational choice understanding of the human nature is incomplete (cite[195-197]{leighley1995attitudes}).
Behaviour in groups or societies is more complex. Norms condition decision-making in groups. Nonetheless, in addition to these cultural factors, the personal motivations and incentives for a certain behaviour within societies need to be considered (cite[12]{laffont2009theory}). My aim is that if we synthesise rational choice and cultural perspectives, more phenomena become explainable without completely abandoning rational choice assumptions.
For example, citeauthor{chong2000rational} (citeyear{chong2000rational}) models a rational choice theory of agency, synthesised with cultural and psychological factors, material and non-material incentives
Get Access