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The influence of national culture on stock option programmes as motivators. The case of managers in Germany

von Prof. Dr. Cornelia Eva Scott

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[1.] Cs/Fragment 001 08 - Diskussion
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Cs, Fernandez 2006, Fragment, Gesichtet, SMWFragment, Schutzlevel sysop, Verschleierung

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Does culture influence economic results? At some vague level, most economists would probably agree that preferences and beliefs, the basis of the definition culture, are endogenous and hence likely to vary across environments. Whether culture plays a quantitatively important role in explaining economic outcomes, however is another question and I think that in this point economists would tend to be sceptical. This scepticism results largely from the absence of rigorous empirical work linking culture and economics. When faced with variation in economic outcomes, across countries or individuals, the traditional strategy has been to explain this variation with differences in policies, institutions, and technology. The distribution of agents, preferences and beliefs is taken as given and invariant to the environment in this case. In fact, up until about the end of the 1990´s, the role of culture in explaining economic phenomena has been largely ignored by academics. At the end of the 1970´s the noble prize winners Stigler and Gary even claimed that “economists who argue with cultural factors are just trying to cover up the failures of their analysis”.[FN 1] To explain variation in outcomes with differences in beliefs or preferences was regarded by many academics as unscientific.

This attitude has however changed in the past decade and a new body of work has emerged that attempts to provide evidence on the effect of culture on economic outcomes.

[FN 1: Stigler/Becker (1977), pp. 76.]

Do we believe that culture matters to economic outcomes? I think that, at some vague level, most economists would probably agree that preferences and beliefs are endogenous and hence likely to vary across environments. Whether culture plays a quantitatively important role in explaining economic outcomes, however, is another question and here I think that, overall, economists would tend to be skeptical. This skepticism stems, in large part, from the absence of rigorous empirical work linking culture and economics. In fact, until fairly recently, the role of culture in explaining economic phenomena has been largely ignored by modern economics. When faced with variation in economic outcomes, across countries or individuals, the traditional strategy has been to explain this variation with differences in policies, institutions, and technology. In such an exercise, the distributions of agents’ preferences and beliefs are taken as given (except in a rational expectations sense) and invariant to the environment. To seek to explain variation in outcomes with differences in beliefs or preferences is seen as unscientific. [FN 2] [...]

Over the last few years a new body of work has emerged that has attempted to provide evidence on the effect of culture on economic outcomes.

[FN 2: The Stigler-Becker (1977) dictum—“de gustibus non est disputandum”—has in this sense cast a long shadow in economics.]

Anmerkungen

Almost literal copy from the source without referencing it. The author adapts slightly by a) changing the position of one sentence in the text, b) adding a quote of Stiegler and Gary and c) producing a mistake that distorts the original meaning ("the distributions of agents’ preferences and beliefs" --> " The distribution of agents, preferences and beliefs"). The author inserts a phrase about Stigler and Gary, calling them "noble prize winners" --> "Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureates" would be correct. The quotation attributed to Stigler and Gary is not found in the source given [1] (Reprint with different pagination)

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