nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒06‒18
eight papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Culture and Cooperation By Simon Gaechter; Benedikt Herrmann; Christian Thoeni
  2. Conservation Value By Tisdell, Clem
  3. Valuing Environmental Services Using Contingent Valuation Method By Duangmany Luangmany; Souphandone Voravong; Kaisorn Thanthathep; Daovinh Souphonphacdy; Malabou Baylatry
  4. Willingness to Pay for the Preservation of Lo Go - Xa Mat National Park in Vietnam By Dang Le Hoa; Nguyen Thi Y Ly
  5. Creative rationality and design education: Towards a pedagogy of adventure By Joelle Forest; Michel Faucheux
  6. East and West: The Twain Shall Meet: A Cross-cultural Perspective on Higher Education By Tejas A. Desai
  7. Drivers of change or cut-throat competitors? Challenging Cultures of Innovation of Chinese and Nigerian migrant entrepreneurs in West Africa By Kohnert, Dirk
  8. The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility Theory, Simulations and Evidence By Bar-El, Ronen; García Muñoz, Teresa; Neuman, Shoshana; Tobol, Yossef

  1. By: Simon Gaechter (Centre of Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham); Benedikt Herrmann (Centre of Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham); Christian Thoeni (University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: Does the cultural background influence the success with which genetically unrelated individuals cooperate in social dilemma situations? In this paper we provide an answer by analyzing the data of Herrmann et al. (Science 2008, pp. 1362-1367), who study cooperation and punishment in sixteen subject pools from six different world cultures (as classified by Inglehart & Baker (American Sociological Review 2000, pp. 19-51)). We use analysis of variance to disentangle the importance of cultural background relative to individual heterogeneity and group-level differences in cooperation. We find that culture has a substantial influence on the extent of cooperation, in addition to individual heterogeneity and group-level differences identified by previous research. The significance of this result is that cultural background has a substantial influence on cooperation in otherwise identical environments. This is particularly true in the presence of punishment opportunities.
    Keywords: human cooperation; punishment; culture; experimental public good games
    Date: 2010–05
  2. By: Tisdell, Clem
    Abstract: This paper outlines the significance of the concept of conservation value and discusses ways in which it is determined paying attention to views stemming from utilitarian ethics and from deontological ethics. The importance of user costs in relation to economic decisions about the conservation and use of natural resources is emphasised. Particular attention is given to competing views about the importance of conserving natural resources in order to achieve economic sustainability. This then lends to a discussion of the value of conserving natural resources in order to meet the moral obligations of present generations to future generations. Anthropogenic views of the value of conserving natural resources (for example, derived from utilitarian ethics) are contrasted with views stressing mankindâs obligations to nature (ecocentric views). The latter are often based on deontological ethics.
    Keywords: anthropogenic values, conservation value, deontological ethics, ecocentric values, economic sustainability, intergenerational equity, natural resources, neo-Malthusianism, precautionary motive, sustainability, sustainable development, user costs, utilitarian ethics, Environmental Economics and Policy, Q01, Q20, Q30, Q50, Q51,
    Date: 2010–06
  3. By: Duangmany Luangmany (Environmental Training Center and the Environment Research Institute); Souphandone Voravong (Environmental Training Center and the Environment Research Institute); Kaisorn Thanthathep (Environmental Training Center and the Environment Research Institute); Daovinh Souphonphacdy (Environmental Training Center and the Environment Research Institute); Malabou Baylatry (Environmental Training Center and the Environment Research Institute)
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of two studies in Lao PDR that assessed people's willingness to pay (WTP) using the Contingent Valuation Methodology (CVM). The first study investigated the WTP of residents for the sustainable development and maintenance of urban parks in the city using Saysetha Park as the case study. In this study residents expressed that urban parks are very important to them as they are areas for relaxation and areas to conserve urban biodiversity. The WTP survey revealed that the residents' mean WTP is 10,741kip/month/household. With this amount, it was estimated that a monthly water bill surcharge of 3,000/kip/month/household may be recommended to maintain urban parks. The second study assessed the WTP for biodiversity conservation and sustainability in the Houay Nhang Protected Area. Using CVM, the WTP responses showed that the monthly contribution that would be acceptable to the people is 5,000 kip. The logit regression shows that this WTP value is influenced by bid prices, gender, and educational levels. The respondents recognized the importance of the protected area for environmental and biodiversity protection.
    Keywords: contingent valuation, Lao PDR
    Date: 2009–10
  4. By: Dang Le Hoa; Nguyen Thi Y Ly
    Abstract: Lo Go - Xa Mat National Park has great value in terms of biodiversity but preserving the park is a great challenge for the Vietnamese government. This study estimated the willingness to pay of households to preserve Lo Go - Xa Mat National Park, using the contingent valuation method. We employed the single-bounded dichotomous choice question format to estimate how much households in Ho Chi Minh City were willing to contribute towards a preservation plan for the park. This plan comprised twelve preservation activities and compensating the local communities for their foregone income. The study found that households in Ho Chi Minh City were willing to pay at least VND 6,209 per month for three years for the preservation of Lo Go - Xa Mat National Park. With protest votes included, factors strongly affecting households' willingness to pay were bid amount and the amount of their monthly electricity bill. The education level of the respondents and the number of working people in the household had significant but lesser impact on their willingness to pay. Without protest votes, the bid amount, monthly electricity bill amount and education level of respondents significantly affected willingness to pay. We found that the annualized benefit value of the project was larger than its annualized cost. This indicated that the preservation plan was economically viable. This study does not provide the total value of Lo Go - Xa Mat National Park, but it shows the great value of the park in terms of local households' willingness to pay for its preservation and this is important information for policy-makers in deciding how to protect the park efficiently.
    Keywords: willingness to pay, Vietnam
    Date: 2009–11
  5. By: Joelle Forest (EVS - Environnement Ville Société - CNRS : UMR5600 - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon); Michel Faucheux (EVS - Environnement Ville Société - CNRS : UMR5600 - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon)
    Abstract: Design education is usually based on the paradigm of innovation defined as a mere application of science. This paper aims at showing that such a point of view is the result of an intellectual perspective which has thrown techniques out of science and, thus, has neglected a specific kind of rationality (the “creative rationality”). Integrating this kind of rationality in the design education drives us to invent“pedagogy of the adventure”.
    Keywords: design; innovation; creativity; rationality; education
    Date: 2009–11–22
  6. By: Tejas A. Desai
    Abstract: This paper seeks to explain certain cultural differences that may have contributed to this imbalance between the Indian and American higher education systems.[W.P. No. 2009-04-03]
    Keywords: cultural,imbalance, Indian, American, higher education systems, Cross-cultural Perspective, East, West, Twain
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: The remarkable influx of Chinese migrant entrepreneurs in different West African countries in recent years has been met with growing resistance by established local entrepreneurs. Whether the former have a competitive edge over the latter because of distinctive socio-cultural traits, or whether the Chinese supposed effectiveness is just a characteristic feature of any trading Diaspora, is open to question. This exploratory study of Chinese and Nigerian entrepreneurial migrants in Ghana and Benin tries to answer this question. Apparently, the cultural motive powers of migrant drivers of change are not restricted to inherited value systems or religions like a protestant ethic or Confucianism, but they are permanently adapted and invented anew by transnational networks of migration in a globalized world. There is no evidence for a supposed superiority of Chinese versus African innovative cultures of entrepreneurial migrants. Rather there exists an enhanced innovative capacity of a trading Diaspora in general vis-à-vis local entrepreneurs, regardless of the background national culture in which it is embedded. In addition, the rivalry of Chinese and Nigerian migrant entrepreneurs in African markets does not necessarily lead to the often suspected cut-throat competition under the impact of globalization. Often both groups act rather complementary. This contributes under certain conditions even to poverty alleviation in the host country.
    Keywords: trading diasporas; international migration; entrepreneurs; culture; innovation; SME; Africa; China; Nigeria; Cotonou; Accra;
    JEL: F22 N85 N87 O15 J61 Z13 M13 R23
    Date: 2010–06–08
  8. By: Bar-El, Ronen (Open University of Israel); García Muñoz, Teresa (Universidad de Granada); Neuman, Shoshana (Bar-Ilan University); Tobol, Yossef (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: This study presents an evolutionary process of secularization that integrates a theoretical model, simulations, and an empirical estimation that employs data from 32 countries (included in the International Social Survey Program: Religion II – ISSP, 1998). Following Bisin and Verdier (2000, 2001a), it is assumed that cultural/social norms are transmitted from one generation to the next one via two venues: (i) direct socialization – across generations, by parents; and (ii) oblique socialization – within generations, by the community and cultural environment. This paper focuses on the transmission of religious norms and in particular on the 'religious taste for children'. The theoretical framework describes the setting and the process leading to secularization of the population; the simulations give more insight into the process; and 'secularization regressions' estimate the effects of the various explanatory variables on secularization (that is measured by rare mass-attendance and by rare-prayer), lending support to corollaries derived from the theory and simulations. The main conclusions/findings are that (i) direct religious socialization efforts of one generation have a negative effect on secularization within the next generation; (ii) oblique socialization by the community has a parabolic effect on secularization; and (iii) the two types of socialization are complements in 'producing' religiosity of the next generation.
    Keywords: cultural transmission, religion, fertility, secularization, ISSP
    JEL: C15 C25 D13 J11 J13 Z12
    Date: 2010–05

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