International Society for Quantitative History

QH Webinar Series

A Theory of Cultural Revivals

09:00 | Thursday, October 8, 2020

Zoom Webinar

English

Murat Iyigun

Murat Iyigun

Professor of Economics, University of Colorado Boulder

Walt McDougall / Public domain

Why do some societies fail to adopt more efficient institutions? And why do such failures often coincide with cultural movements that glorify the past? Murat Iyigun and his coauthors propose a model highlighting the interplay—or lack thereof—between institutional change and cultural beliefs. The main insight is that institutional change by itself will not lead to a more efficient economy unless culture evolves in tandem. This is because institutional change can be countered by changes in cultural values complementary to a more "traditional" economy. In their model, forward-looking elites, who benefit from a traditional, inefficient economy, may over-provide public goods that are complementary to the production of traditional goods. This encourages individuals to transmit cultural beliefs complementary to the provision of traditional goods. A horse race results between institutions, which evolve towards a more efficient (less traditional) economy, and cultural norms, which are pulled towards "tradition" by the elites. When culture wins the horse race, institutions respond by giving more political power to traditional elites—even if in doing so more efficient institutions are left behind. In this Quantitative History Webinar, Murat will explain in detail how such cultural and institutional dynamics have historically generated cultural revivals that further empowered the entrenched political and economic elites.

Murat's coauthors are Jared Rubin (Chapman University) and Avner Seror (Aix Marseille School of Economics).

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Zoom Webinar

Murat Iyigun

English

The Quantitative History Webinar Series aims to provide researchers, teachers, and students with an online intellectual platform to keep up to date with the latest research in the field, promoting the dissemination of research findings and interdisciplinary use of quantitative methods in historical research. The Series, now in its third year, is co-organized by the International Society for Quantitative History, HKU Business School, and Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 量化歷史網上講座系列由香港大學陳志武和馬馳騁教授聯合發起,旨在介紹前沿量化歷史研究成果、促進同仁交流,推廣量化方法在歷史研究中的應用。本系列講座由國際量化歷史學會、香港大學經管學院和香港人文社會研究所全力支持和承辦。

Conveners: Professor Zhiwu Chen & Dr. Chicheng Ma (HKU Business School)

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