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Culture rules: The foundations of the rule of law and other norms of governance

  • Licht, Amir N.
  • Goldschmidt, Chanan
  • Schwartz, Shalom H.

This study presents evidence about relations between national culture and social institutions. We operationalize culture with data on cultural dimensions for over 50 nations adopted from cross-cultural psychology and generate testable hypotheses about three basic social norms of governance: the rule of law, corruption, and accountability. These norms correlate systematically and strongly with national scores on cultural dimensions and also differ across cultural regions of the world. Regressions indicate that quantitative measures of national culture are alone remarkably predictive of governance, that economic inequality and British heritage add to predictive power, but that economic development and other factors add little. The results suggest a framework for understanding the relations between fundamental institutions of social order as well as policy implications for reform programs in transition economies.

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

Volume (Year): 35 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 659-688

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:35:y:2007:i:4:p:659-688
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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