A Study of the Effect of Commercial Ethics on Distribution
The effect of cultural values on the operation of markets tends to be overlookedin economic theory. Western theory assumes a utility maximizing economic agent,which may be consistent with Western culture, but is foreign to many other peoples.This study is an exploration of the impact of cultural values, as commercial ethics, oneconomic distribution.The theory and literature is briefly reviewed and a pilot experiment described.The experiment involved a six-sector economy that was operated within two culturalparadigms. The two paradigms approximated to Western individualism and preindustrialtraditional culture following Tiinnies's concepts of Gesellschaft andGemeinschaft respectively.The pilot study revealed that the Gesellschaft economy was more attractive tomost members of the economy and returned short-term benefits, but it generally underperformedthe Gemeinschaft economy for most sectors in the longer term. The behaviourof the land sector was especially significant.The Discussion includes linkages to historical and anthropological findingsand makes suggestions for further research. The experiment raises importantmethodological issues regarding the nature of economic agents and positivistepistemology. These are dealt with including pedagogical and future researchimplications.
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Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES)
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