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Article: Culture, state and varieties of capitalism: A comparative study of life insurance markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan

TitleCulture, state and varieties of capitalism: A comparative study of life insurance markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan
Authors
KeywordsAsia
Culture
Globalization
Insurance
Localization
State
Varieties Of Capitalism
Issue Date2013
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journals/BJOS
Citation
British Journal of Sociology, 2013, v. 63 n. 1, p. 97-122 How to Cite?
AbstractThis article examines the interplay between local culture, the state, and economic actors' agency in producing variation across markets. I adopt a political-cultural approach to examining why life insurance has been far more popular in Taiwan than Hong Kong, despite the presence of a cultural taboo on the topic of premature death in both societies. Based on interview data and documentary references, the findings reveal that as an independent state, the Taiwanese government heavily protected domestic insurance firms during their emergence. These domestic firms adopted a market-share approach by re-defining the concept of life insurance to accommodate the local cultural taboo. The colonial Hong Kong government, on the other hand, adopted laissez-faire policies that essentially favoured foreign insurance firms. When faced with the tension between local adaptation and the profitability of the business, these foreign firms chose the latter. Their reluctance to accommodate local cultures, however, resulted in a smaller market. I argue that state actions mediate who the dominant economic players are and that the nature of the dominant players affects the extent of localization. Specifically, the presence of competitive domestic players alongside transnational corporations is more likely to produce varieties of capitalism. © London School of Economics and Political Science 2012.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/172359
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.871
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.441
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, CSCen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-10-30T06:21:57Z-
dc.date.available2012-10-30T06:21:57Z-
dc.date.issued2013en_US
dc.identifier.citationBritish Journal of Sociology, 2013, v. 63 n. 1, p. 97-122en_US
dc.identifier.issn0007-1315en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/172359-
dc.description.abstractThis article examines the interplay between local culture, the state, and economic actors' agency in producing variation across markets. I adopt a political-cultural approach to examining why life insurance has been far more popular in Taiwan than Hong Kong, despite the presence of a cultural taboo on the topic of premature death in both societies. Based on interview data and documentary references, the findings reveal that as an independent state, the Taiwanese government heavily protected domestic insurance firms during their emergence. These domestic firms adopted a market-share approach by re-defining the concept of life insurance to accommodate the local cultural taboo. The colonial Hong Kong government, on the other hand, adopted laissez-faire policies that essentially favoured foreign insurance firms. When faced with the tension between local adaptation and the profitability of the business, these foreign firms chose the latter. Their reluctance to accommodate local cultures, however, resulted in a smaller market. I argue that state actions mediate who the dominant economic players are and that the nature of the dominant players affects the extent of localization. Specifically, the presence of competitive domestic players alongside transnational corporations is more likely to produce varieties of capitalism. © London School of Economics and Political Science 2012.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journals/BJOSen_US
dc.relation.ispartofBritish Journal of Sociologyen_US
dc.subjectAsiaen_US
dc.subjectCultureen_US
dc.subjectGlobalizationen_US
dc.subjectInsuranceen_US
dc.subjectLocalizationen_US
dc.subjectStateen_US
dc.subjectVarieties Of Capitalismen_US
dc.subject.meshAttitude to Death - ethnology-
dc.subject.meshCapitalism-
dc.subject.meshCross-Cultural Comparison-
dc.subject.meshInsurance, Life - economics - utilization-
dc.subject.meshPublic Policy-
dc.titleCulture, state and varieties of capitalism: A comparative study of life insurance markets in Hong Kong and Taiwanen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailChan, CSC: cherisch@hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityChan, CSC=rp00617en_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1468-4446.2011.01395.xen_US
dc.identifier.pmid22404391-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84858116533en_US
dc.identifier.hkuros209564-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-84858116533&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume63en_US
dc.identifier.issue1en_US
dc.identifier.spage97en_US
dc.identifier.epage122en_US
dc.identifier.eissn1468-4446-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000301225600008-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChan, CSC=36005719500en_US
dc.customcontrol.immutablesml 130827-

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