The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Culture and Economics

  • Raquel Fernández
Reference work entry


Modern neoclassical economics has, until recently, ignored the potential role of culture in explaining variation in economic outcomes, largely because of the difficulty in rigorously separating the effects of culture from those of institutions and traditional economic variables. This article selectively reviews some recent attempts to empirically identify the effects of culture on economic outcomes and to answer the question, ‘does culture matter and, if so, how much?’ Open theoretical and empirical questions are discussed, including the relationship between culture and institutions.


Agency problems Assortative matching Cultural assimilation Culture and economics Endogenous preferences Epidemiology Fertility Human capital Institutions Instrumental variables International migration Multiple equilibria Occupational selection Religion Social norms Technology Trust Women’s work and wages Beliefs Identity Preference transmission 

JEL Classifications

O4 Z1 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel Fernández
    • 1
  1. 1.