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Tolerance for uncertainty and the growth of informationally opaque industries

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  • Huang, Rocco R.

Abstract

Hofstede (1980)’s cross-country psychological survey of IBM employees shows that some countries (societies) are systematically more tolerant of uncertainty, while tolerance of uncertainty is shown by Rigotti et al. (2003)’s model to be essential to the growth of “emerging sectors about which little is known”. We use Durnev, Morck and Yeung (2004)’s methodology to identify these informationally opaque industries. We hypothesize that, countries characterized by high uncertainty aversion (measured by Hofstede’s indicator) will, because of uncertainty aversion, grow disproportionately slower in industrial sectors where information is less available (proxied by lower informativeness of stock prices in the U.S., Durnev et al. 2004). Using the Rajan and Zingales (1998) “differences-in-differences” methodology, in 34 countries and 36 manufacturing industries, we indeed find robust evidence for this pattern of industrial growth. We also show that national uncertainty aversion is not proxying for under-development of financial sector, inadaptability of civil law systems, lower level of economic development, or many other factors. Our results are also robust when we use religious (Protestant/Catholic) composition to instrument for national uncertainty aversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 87 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 333-353

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:87:y:2008:i:2:p:333-353

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Huang, Rocco R., 2007. "Distance and trade: Disentangling unfamiliarity effects and transport cost effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 161-181, January.
  2. Guido Cozzi & Paolo E. Giordani, . "Ambiguity Attitude, R&D Investments and Economic Growth," Working Papers 2008_06, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  3. Fidrmuc, Jana P. & Jacob, Marcus, 2010. "Culture, agency costs, and dividends," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 321-339, September.
  4. Inklaar, Robert & Yang, Jing, 2012. "The impact of financial crises and tolerance for uncertainty," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 466-480.
  5. Giordani, Paolo E. & Schlag, Karl H. & Zwart, Sanne, 2010. "Decision makers facing uncertainty: Theory versus evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 659-675, August.
  6. Rudiger Ahrend & Cyrille Schwellnus, 2012. "Do investors disproportionately shed assets of distant countries during global financial crises?: The role of increased uncertainty," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2012(1), pages 1-20.
  7. Gilad D. Aharonovitz & Nathan Skuza & Faysal Fahs, 2009. "Can Integrity Replace Institutions? Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2730, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Pascal L. Ghazalian, 2012. "Home Bias in Primary Agricultural and Processed Food Trade: Assessing the Effects of National Degree of Uncertainty Aversion," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-290, 06.
  9. Roxana Mihet, 2012. "Effects of Culture on Firm Risk-Taking," IMF Working Papers 12/210, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Tamini, Lota D., 2012. "Optimal quality choice under uncertainty on market development," MPRA Paper 40845, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Anderson, Christopher W. & Fedenia, Mark & Hirschey, Mark & Skiba, Hilla, 2011. "Cultural influences on home bias and international diversification by institutional investors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 916-934, April.
  12. Feijen, Erik, 2005. "Do incumbents manipulate access to finance during banking crises?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3660, The World Bank.
  13. Tamini, Lota Dabio, 2012. "Optimal quality choice under uncertainty on market development," Working Papers 148589, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA).
  14. Roxana Mihet, 2013. "Effects of culture on firm risk-taking: a cross-country and cross-industry analysis," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 109-151, February.
  15. Mehri, Meryem, 2014. "The Differential Effects of Law, Culture and Political Risk on Fees, Performance and Risk-Taking Behavior of Islamic and Conventional Funds," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13099, Paris Dauphine University.
  16. : Jana P. Fidrmuc & Marcus Jacob, 2010. "Culture, Agency Costs and Dividends," Working Papers wpn10-01, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.

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