Forum for Economic Dialogue – Is culture key?
New insights on how culture affects economic prosperity
Culture is a set of shared attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviors. Culture shapes the way we interact, the way firms operate, and nations develop. How much do we value integrity, trust and honesty in a multi-cultural and diverse world? What drives economic performance: taking risks, or avoiding them? Cooperation or competition? Homogeneity or heterogeneity? Carrot or stick? Is it patience, after all?
At this year’s forum, we reflected on how prosperity and culture interact. We explored different culture plots, from cultural groups to organizations and nations. Italian economist and former Bocconi rector Guido Tabellini started with a provocative question “Does Europe belong together?” and analyzed whether culture is an obstacle for the European integration. Leading voices from academia and the corporate world discussed how culture drives success: from an economic, a business and a social perspective. And Joe Henrich, a human evolutionary biologist and anthropologist, asked what has made Western culture so strange – and so successful.
Guido Tabellini, Professor of Economics at Bocconi University, delivered the opening keynote lecture.
This year’s Forum for Economic Dialogue was concluded with the Zurich Lecture of Economics in Society delivered by Joe Henrich, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.
Matching literature, compiled by the Department of Economics library:
- Torsten Persson, Guido Tabellini: Political economics: explaining economic policy - borrow
- Joseph Henrich: The secret of our success: how culture is driving human evolution, domesticating our species, and making us smarter - borrow
- Paul Collier, Rita Seuss, Martin Richter: Die unterste Milliarde : warum die ärmsten Länder scheitern und was man dagegen tun kann - borrow
- Daron Acemoglu; James A. Robinson: Why nations fail : the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty - borrow
- Prosperity - research
|9.00 a.m.||Door opening|
Joachim Voth, Scientific Director of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society
Opening lecture: Does Europe belong together?
Guido Tabellini, Bocconi University
|10.45 a.m.||Coffee break|
Morning session: On culture and economic prosperity
Armin Falk, University of Bonn
Alessandra Fogli, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Felipe Kast Sommerhoff, politician, economist and consultant
Chair: David Yanagizawa-Drott, University of Zurich
Afternoon session: Beliefs, values and business success
Ernst Fehr, University of Zurich
Raffaella Sadun, Harvard Business School
Simona Scarpaleggia, CEO Ikea Switzerland
Chair: Nir Jaimovich, University of Zurich
|3.30 p.m.||Coffee break|
Disputation: What makes a prosperous society?
Paul Collier, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University
Alan Posener, Die Welt
Moderator: Markus Spillmann, SPILLMANN Media, Strategy Management GmbH
Ernst Fehr, Director of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society
Zurich Lecture of Economics in Society: How Westerners became psychologically peculiar and economically prosperous
Joe Henrich, Harvard University
End of event
- Finanz und Wirtschaft, 12.11.2018: “Im Dauereinsatz für mehr Diversität” lesen
- Tagesanzeiger, 21.11.2018: “Wie wichtig Kultur für den Erfolg ist” lesen
- NZZ, 21.11.2018: “Warum Europas Staaten sich nicht näherkommen” lesen
- NZZ, 4.12.2018: “Ehe und Erben: Joseph Henrich erklärt den Aufstieg des Westens” lesen
Zurich Lecture of Economics in Society
12.11.2018, 5:45 p.m., Kaufleuten, Zurich
This year’s Forum for Economic Dialogue was concluded with the Zurich Lecture of Economics in Society delivered by Joe Henrich, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and a senior fellow in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research in the Institutions, Organizations and Growth Group. His research deploys evolutionary theory to understand how human psychology gives rise to cultural evolution and how this has shaped our species’ genetic evolution. Using insights generated from this approach, Professor Henrich has explored a variety of topics, including economic decision-making, social norms, religion, marriage, prestige and cooperation. He’s conducted anthropological fieldwork in Peru, Chile and in the South Pacific, as well as having spearheaded several large comparative projects on human sociality. His most recent book is W.E.I.R.D. People: How Westerners became psychologically peculiar and economically prosperous (forthcoming). His other books and edited volumes include The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter, Why Humans Cooperate (together with Henrich ), Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from 15 Small-Scale Societies (together with Boyd, Bowles, Camerer, Fehr, and Gintis) and Experimenting with Social Norms (together with Ensminger).