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  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


  • Publishing Partners:

    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

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    American Sociological Association

    European Sociological Association

    World Economics Association (WEA)




The U.S. Folklore, Proverbs, and Economic Behavior

Vol. 6, No 2, 2013


Ahmed S. Abou-Zaid

Associate Professor of Economics

Department of Economics – Eastern Illinois University, USA

The U.S. Folklore, Proverbs, and Economic Behavior



ABSTRACT. Social scientists strongly believe that the cultural values and norms motivate, guide, and influence the behavior of each and every society. However, studying the relationship between culture and behavior, notably economic behavior, is not very popular in the literature, mainly because of the vague and broad definition of the culture. Thereby this paper provides a narrow definition of the culture as “the set of beliefs and values that are often revealed in folklore of the country, where proverbs are the most concise form of the verbal folklore genres.” Using this definition, the paper attempts to relate several types of economic behaviors such as intertemporal choice of consumption, investment, risk taking, work and education, to a set of popular sayings, idioms and proverbs that are circulated in the American society. The paper finds that the observed economic behavior in the U.S. is influenced to an extent by the American proverbs and sayings.


Received: March, 2013

1st Revision: July, 2013

Accepted: September, 2013





JEL Classification: D03, Z13

Keywords: Culture, Proverbs, Popular sayings, Economic behavior.





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