Culture as a Base for Efficient Economic Systems
Globalization puts the German economic model, the so-called social market economy, under pressure. Constituting elements of this model are fundamental social and economic values. Globalization puts some of these values under pressure and creates inefficiencies because the costs of running the social and economic fabric rise. This is an important justification to inquire into the normative foundations of economic efficiency The following article discusses to what extent culture is a base for efficient economic systems. Information theory is regarded as a key element for explaining social change. The arguments are based on institutional economics with a special view on transaction costs and on cooperation structures. It is shown that specific information technologies promote forms of cooperation, which influence institutional arrangements. The related information technologies themselves are part of the cultural system and its value structures. As a consequence, competition among economic systems favours certain combinations of technologies, cultural arrangements and economic systems. In as much as cultural competition precedes economic competition in the sense of a certain way of thinking, the cultural system can be regarded as a strategic competitive parameter for an economy.