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Physioeconomic theories of culture and consumption

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The literature has long recognized that consumer behavior varies across cultures. Attributing these differences to causal mechanisms however has been elusive. The quandary of attribution faced in consumer research is not unlike continuing debates in anthropology and sociology. If cultural variations explain variations in consumer behavior, what then explains varaitions in culture? If one can identify forces driving cultural variations to what extent do these directly affect consumer behavior? In this paper we describe how physioeconomic models: introduced in Parker (1995) can begin to answer these questions. We begin by reviewing physioeconomic theories of human behavior. In doing so, we explain why the principle of cultural adaptive radiation leads to a variety of causal mechanisms affecting cross-cultural variations

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