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Looking Back to the Future: Time Strata and Economic Analysis

Hüther, Michael

Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 138 (2018), Iss. 2: pp. 89–116

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Hüther, Michael, German Economic Institute, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 21, 50668 Cologne, Germany.



In mainstream economics cultural differences, habits and mind-sets are considered to be reflected in the institutional setting. To reintroduce historical time, we combine the concept of path dependency with the concept of time strata; instead of explaining a fact isolated from its historical conditionality, the perspective moves from a contemporary phenomenon to several paths incorporated in it and questions their time-differentiated interlocking, mutual influence and conditioning. At the same time, the direction of the perspective changes: the path is analysed from today to yesterday. We use this approach to explain the particular current economic situation in Germany: namely, the strength in manufacturing and in global exports.

JEL Codes: B5, N0, O1