Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/161326
Authors: 
Iyigun, Murat
Rubin, Jared
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 10703
Abstract: 
Why do some societies fail to adopt more efficient institutions in response to changing economic conditions? And why do such conditions sometimes generate ideological backlashes and at other times lead to transformative sociopolitical movements? We propose an explanation that highlights the interplay or lack thereof between new technologies, ideologies, and institutions. When new technologies emerge, uncertainty results from a lack of understanding how the technology will fit with prevailing ideologies and institutions. This uncertainty discourages investment in institutions and the cultural capital necessary to take advantage of new technologies. Accordingly, increased uncertainty during times of rapid technological change may generate an ideological backlash that puts a higher premium on traditional values. We apply the theory to numerous historical episodes, including Ottoman reform initiatives, the Japanese Tokugawa reforms and Meiji Restoration, and the Tongzhi Restoration in Qing China.
Subjects: 
ideology
institutions
conservatism
beliefs
uncertainty
institutional change
technological change
JEL: 
D02
N40
N70
O33
O38
O43
Z10
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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