Erwin Dekker

I am interested in the relation between economics and culture. The first way I have explored this relation is in my dissertation. In ‘The Viennese students of Civilization’ I have studied the cultural setting of economics, especially in interwar Vienna and in a policy paper I have analyzed the culture of the Dutch economy the ‘poldercultuur’. The second way in which I have explored the relation between economics and culture is a series of research articles, in which I have explored the extent to which economics can help us understand the arts and culture. The third way in which this relationship can be analyzed is through the study of the cultural meaning of economics. In an article co-authored with Paul Teule I have for example studied the meaning of the recent ‘economics-made-fun’ books such as Freakonomics. With him and Arjo  Klamer we have also written a economics books (of which I have also co-authored one) ‘Economie voor in Bed, in bad of op het toilet’.

The study of the cultural meaning of economics is important firstly because as economists are quick to proclaim they are the premier social science. But the economic way of thinking today pervades politics, society and even everyday metaphors when we for example are building our human capital, networking or developing our personal brand. The cultural and artistic domain has been particularly resistant to this rational approach aimed at measurement, but it too is currently primarily looked at as ‘the cultural industries’ and artists as ‘cultural entrepreneurs’. This issues are at the heart of what we hope to challenge and question in the think-tank Vizier of which I am board member since 2013.

At the heart of the intersection between economics is value. Modern economics is built on the subjective theory of valuation, and the process of valuation and evaluation is at the heart of cultural debates (‘what is worthy of our attention’). In a recent article I have distinguished four different traditions of cultural economics concerned with valuation and in a recent paper I have developed the notion of ‘exemplary validity’ in valuation processes, a subject I am currently developing into a three-year research project.

Working Papers

  1. Exemplary Validity: Market Coordination and the valuation of singular products
  2. The Economic Legitimization and De-Legitimization of Arts Policies
  3. Despair and Reluctant Hope: The search for stability of continental liberals in the mid-twentieth century

 Peer-reviewed articles

  1.  Dekker, Erwin. 2015. “Two approaches to study the value of art and culture, and the emergence of a third. Journal of Cultural Economics, online first. Link to File
  2.  Dekker, Erwin. 2015. “Left Luggage: finding the relevant context of Austrian Economics. Review of Austrian Economics, online first. Link to File
  3.  Dekker, Erwin. 2014. “Vienna Circles: Cultivating Economic Knowledge outside Academia”. Erasmus Journal of Philosophy and Economics 7 (2): p. 30-53. 10.1007/s11138-014-0295-3. Link to File
  4. Dekker, Erwin, and Zuzanna Popik. 2014. “By Unanimous Decision? A Second Look at Consensus in the Film Industry.” Creativity Research Journal 26 (1): p. 95-105. 10.1080/10400419.2014.873669  Link to File
  5. Dekker, Erwin, and Paul Teule. 2012. “Economics Made Fun , and Made Fun of: How ‘Fun’ Redefines the Domain and Identity of the Economics Profession.” Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (4): 427–437. Link to file

Book chapters/other articles

Dekker, Erwin, and Arjo Klamer. 2014. “What is the Right Thing to do as an Academic Economist”. In Oxford University Press Handbook of Professional Economics Ethics, ed. George DeMartino & Deirdre McCloskey. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Weblink coming soon

Dekker, Erwin. 2014. Economie kan niet zonder maatschappij. NRC Handelsblad, 6 januari 2014 / Ja echt, economie kan niet zonder mensen. NRC Next, 6 januari 2014.  Link to File

Handke, Christian & Erwin Dekker. 2014. “From Austria to Australia: Mark Blaug and Cultural Economics”. In Mark Blaug: Rebel with Many Causes, ed. Marcel Boumans & Mathias Klaes. London: Edward Elgar, pp. 225-244. Link to File 

Dekker, Erwin. 2014. “The Intellectual Networks of Otto Neurath: Between the Coffeehouse and Academia”. In European Encounters: Intellectual Exchange and the Rethinking of Europe (1914-1945), ed. Carlos Reijnen & Marleen Rensen. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 103-122. Link to File 

Klamer, Arjo, Erwin Dekker, and Sander Geenen. 2013. “Nederland Als Corporatistische Samenleving: Tijd Voor Een Herwaardering?” In Arbeidsverhoudingen Onder Druk, ed. by Paul T de Beer, 59–82. Den Haag: Sdu Uitgevers.  Link to File

Dekker, Erwin. 2012. “Van Idealen Naar Belangen – Perspectiefveranderingen in de Sociale Wetenschappen.” Academische Boekengids (94). Link to File 

Klamer, Arjo, Erwin Dekker, Lyudmila Petrova, and Claudine de With. 2009. “Het Creatief Vermogen.” Boekman Cahier 77: 22–27. Link to File 

Dekker, Erwin. 2006. Moral Behaviour in the Marketplace. In: APEE Essay Contest  (Association Private Enterprise Education), honorable mention won.


Dekker, Erwin. 2009. Recensie Conferentie Neuroeconomics: Hype or Hope , Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Wijsbegeerte, 2009: nr. 1. Link to File

Dekker, Erwin. 2008. Review of Speaking of Economics by A. Klamer. In: Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, vol. 1, nov. 2008. Link to File


Dekker, Erwin. 2014. “The Viennese Students of Civilization: Humility, Culture and Economics in Interwar Vienna and Beyond”. PhD dissertation, Erasmus University.  Link to File


  Klamer, Arjo, Erwin Dekker & Paul Teule. 2011. Economie voor in bed, op het toilet of in bad (English translation of the title: Economics for the bedroom, the bathroom or the bathtub). Amersfoort: BBNC uitgevers. Link to File

Other files

Bibliography of the Habsburg Empire and its Culture. Source unknown. Link to File

Erwin DekkerErwin Dekker