Understanding the Culture of Markets, Routledge, 2012. ISBN 978-0415777469.
How does culture impact economic life? Is culture like a ball and chain that actors must lug around as they pursue their material interests? Or, is culture like a tool-kit from which entrepreneurs can draw resources to aid them in their efforts? Or, is being immersed in a culture like wearing a pair of blinders? Or, is culture like wearing a pair of glasses with tinted lenses? Understanding the Culture of Markets explores how culture shapes economic activity and describes how social scientists (especially economists) should incorporate considerations of culture into their analysis.
Although most social scientists recognize that culture shapes economic behavior and outcomes, the majority of economists are not very interested in culture. Understanding the Culture of Markets begins with a discussion of the reasons why economists are reluctant to incorporate culture into economic analysis. It then goes on to describe how culture shapes economic life, and critiques those few efforts by economists to discuss the relationship between culture and markets. Finally, building on the work of Max Weber, it outlines and defends an approach to understanding the culture of markets.
In order to understand real world markets, economists must pay attention to how culture shapes economic activity. If culture does indeed color economic life, economists cannot really avoid culture. Instead, the choice that they face is not whether or not to incorporate culture into their analysis but whether to employ culture implicitly or explicitly. Ignoring culture may be possible but avoiding culture is impossible. Understanding the Culture of Markets will appeal to economists interested in how culture impacts economic life, in addition to economic anthropologists and economic sociologists. It should be useful in graduate and undergraduate courses in all of those fields.
The Political Economy Of Hurricane Katrina And Community Rebound (with Emily Chamlee-Wright), Edward Elgar, 2010. ISBN 978- 1-84844-238-2.
In 2005 Hurricane Katrina posed an unprecedented set of challenges to formal and informal systems of disaster response and recovery. Informed by the Virginia School of Political Economy, the contributors to this volume critically examine the public policy environment that led to both successes and failures in the post-Katrina disaster response and long-term recovery. Building from this perspective, this volume lends critical insight into the nature of the social coordination problems disasters present, the potential for public policy to play a positive role, and the inherent limitations policymakers face in overcoming the myriad challenges that are a product of catastrophic disaster.
Contributors include: E.M. Agemy, J. Bleckley, E. Chamlee-Wright, D. D’Amico, J. Hall, S. Horwitz, A. Kashdan, L. Krasnozhon, P.T. Leeson, A. Martin, E. Norcross, D. Rothschild, P. Runst, E. Schaeffer, D. Skarbek, A. Skriba, R.S. Sobel, V.H. Storr
Enterprising Slaves & Master Pirates: Understanding Economic Life in the Bahamas, Peter Lang, 2004. ISBN 0-8204-7075-9.
Enterprising Slaves & Master Pirates is an interdisciplinary account of economic life in the Bahamas. The Bahamas’ economic story is an interesting tale, full of vibrant color—a story of short-lived booms followed by protracted busts, where discussions of economic success force us to mention fanciful figures such as the pirates Blackbeard and Calico Jack, and where accounts of economic woe, such as the collapse of the cotton market, are punctuated by descriptions of the clamor of Sunday markets or the unique practice of selfhire.
Since the almost simultaneous settling of the Bahamas by pirates and Puritan farmers in the 17th century, two ideal typical entrepreneurs have dominated the region’s economic life: the enterprising slave (encouraging Bahamian businessmen to work hard, to be creative and to be productive) and the master pirate (demonstrating how success is more easily attained through cunning and deception). In addition to Caribbean Studies scholars, this book will appeal to students of culture interested in economic development, and economists interested in how culture impacts development efforts.