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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1532906
 
 

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Cultural and Institutional Bifurcation: China and Europe Compared


Avner Greif


Stanford University - Department of Economics; Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)

Guido Tabellini


University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo); Bocconi University - Department of Economics

January 7, 2010

American Economic Review, May 2010

Abstract:     
How to sustain cooperation is a key challenge for any society. Different social organizations have evolved in the course of history to cope with this challenge by relying on different combinations of external (formal and informal) enforcement institutions and intrinsic motivation. Some societies rely more on informal enforcement and moral obligations within their constituting groups. Others rely more on formal enforcement and general moral obligations towards society at large. How do culture and institutions interact in generating different evolutionary trajectories of societal organizations? Do contemporary attitudes, institutions and behavior reflect distinct pre-modern trajectories?

This paper addresses these questions by examining the bifurcation in the societal organizations of pre-modern China and Europe.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: Institutions, Culture, Development, China, Europe

JEL Classification: N13, N15, E11

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Date posted: January 9, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Greif, Avner and Tabellini, Guido, Cultural and Institutional Bifurcation: China and Europe Compared (January 7, 2010). American Economic Review, May 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1532906 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1532906

Contact Information

Avner Greif (Contact Author)
Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )
Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States
650-725-8936 (Phone)
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) ( email )
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario
Canada
Guido Tabellini
University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER) ( email )
Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy
+39 02 5836 3305 (Phone)
+39 02 5836 3302 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de
Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )
Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy
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