The Social Animal With A Memory

26 Nov

For those Jared Diamond fans, Louis Putterman has a book for you.

Glenn and Louis discuss the causes of economic inequality among nations, based on Louis’s recent book, The Good, the Bad, and the Economy. Louis describes the different hypotheses explaining global inequality, contrasting them with his own focus on cultural attitudes propagated across generations within ethnic groups. Glenn wonders whether a history of conquest, colonization and enslavement and/or possible genetic differences between populations might explain some of Louis’s findings. Can the countries left behind ever catch up? Glenn suggests that modern communications technology is making cultural differences across nations less relevant. So is foreign aid a waste of money? And does democracy follow economic growth, or vice versa?

What I liked about this theory is, that it takes the notion, that human cognitive abilities and social interaction are related, seriously.

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