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Market Economy

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Reconstructed Mesolithic roundhouse near Northumberland, Great Britain (source: Andrew Curtis) At different times and in different regions, humans have entered larger social environments that are no longer limited to close kin. Because there is less interaction with any one person and more interaction with non-kin, correct behavior can no longer be enforced by the to... Read More
Ruth Benedict first made the distinction between “shame cultures” and “guilt cultures” (source). Pervasive feelings of guilt are part of a behavioral package that enabled Northwest Europeans to adapt to complex social environments where kinship is less important and where rules of correct behavior must be obeyed with a minimum of surveillance. Is this pervasive... Read More
Facial expressions in Manga (Japanese) comics. East Asian culture strongly regulates the expression of emotions, particularly in their impact on other people. (source) Humans have had to adapt not only to physical environments (climate, vegetation, wildlife) but also to cultural environments (diet, language, codes of behavior, class and family structure, etc.). A culture will thus... Read More
Unemployment rates in the West and East of Germany (source) Did East German conscripts become smarter because East Germans were becoming smarter? Or were smarter individuals increasingly seeing the army as an alternative to unemployment? In a recent study of conscripts entering the German army, Roivainen (2012) has found that the mean IQ of East... Read More
Market gate, old city of Baku. Until a few centuries ago, markets were highly localized in time and space. Most economic activity took place outside them, either within each household or in long-term reciprocal relations within the community. The political Right typically believes that a market economy will self-generate as long as government gets out... Read More
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