Disposition and Economic Behaviour

A Reply to Miklós Hadas’s Essay

My comments on Hadas’s essay are conceived in the frame of economic sociology and the new institutional economics due to my expertise in these fields. There are some common points in the approaches of Hadas and the viewpoint of economic sociology. E.g. in his analysis Hadas uses he Hirschman’s term exit. The connotation of concept of exit is in a way similar to opportunism, which is well known in the new institutional economics. The economic concept of  the “free rider” (an economic term also) holds similar connotations as the notion “cut” which is used by Hadas to illustrate the behaviour of Hungarian people). According to Hadas the lack of trust and trustworthiness in Hungarians is typical, the explanation of which lies in our history. This statement is acceptable, although it needs further analysis. In addition to the historical explanation, it is worth considering structural causes as well. Fukuyama points out that norms of trust and trustworthiness may have either narrow or wide radius. In societies characterised by narrow radius norms, income disparities are high, mobility rates are low, segregation is significant, the norms build trust within but not between families, social classes or ethnic groups and often impose negative externalities on non-members of this groups, even on the whole society.

Released: Replika 106–107, 301–309.