Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This Is How Institutions Change...

slowly. Greg Mankiw links to this inspiring story from The Wall Street Journal. The article is about a young woman, a Harvard grad, who now works on Wall Street. Her senior thesis is, evidently, one of the clearest explanations of the financial crisis.

But what I found most satisfying was her desire to change the culture and to effect that change from within. One hopes that she, and others like her, can achieve that change. For when we talk about informal institutions - the beliefs, etc. that influence our decisions, the shift of focus from short-term to long-term would be extremely significant. Yet, those types of institutional change can take a long, long time. For it takes a long, long time to change the beliefs that others hold.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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