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Values and Economic Performance: Theory and some Evidence from Kenya

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  • Gilad Aharonovitz
  • Elizabeth Kabura Nyaga

    ()
    (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)

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    Abstract

    Policy, saving rates, human capital, etc. are possible explanations for poor economic performance, but while these factors are changeable, underdevelopment persists. Looking for an unchangeable factor, we construct a theory for the effect of values, such as moral values, risk-taking, and responsibility to others, on economic performance, and demonstrate it using a model in which responsibility for parents prevents development. We construct data of economic performance and values of seven tribes in Kenya by inferring values from children's stories, and verify the model. Thus, we open a door for the quantitative analysis of the effect of values over the economy.

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    File URL: http://faculty.ses.wsu.edu/WorkingPapers/Aharonovitz/WP_2008-18_ValuesK_short_abstract.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University in its series Working Papers with number 2008-18.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wsu:wpaper:aharonovitz-1

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    Keywords: economic development; values; social norms; Kenya;

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