Keywords: Economic Sociology; Political Economy; Economic Development.
In the last years the economic literature has shown a growing interest in the role of culture and institutions. These dimensions are considered as key factors to explain the development of market economies and their variable performances, not only by sociologists but also by economists. However, in the contemporary neo-institutionalism some scholars emphasize the importance of culture, while others point to institutions. The lesson of Max Weber in his study of modern capitalism is still important today because the German sociologist shows that the development of market economy requires a substantial integration of culture and institutions in the theoretical framework. This perspective may help to work out more effective analyses of economic development, as well as more effective - even though more difficult - policies.