Center for Economic Studies and ifo Institute (CESifo), Munich
This paper discusses a central element in globalization debate little addressed by economists, namely the interactions at global, national, and community levels between globalization and societally based values. Social values refer to wider notions of collective identity: religious values, attitudes towards materialism, moral beliefs, and a sense of collective awareness and are a broader and more encompassing concept than social capital discussed in recent economics and sociology literature. Social capital relates to trust, honesty and the social fabric of accepted norms central to the successful implementation of individual optimizing decisions, and denotes a communal asset reflecting strength of joint collective commitment whose amount can be increased or improved upon through investment of time and resources. Social values are much discussed in sociological literature going back to Comte, Durkheim, Parsons, and others. The issues taken up here are how different social values might interact and change as societies and their economies integrate (globalize). Processes of value competition, displacement, joint assimilation occur naturally to economists, but seem little studied by sociologists who seemingly place less stress on analytical comparative statics. Scenarios for how values can interact under globalization are discussed in the text.