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Tolerance and economic growth revisited: a note

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  • Eduard Bomhoff
  • Grace Lee

Abstract

Berggren and Elinder (BE) in this journal write on the relationship between the degree of tolerance in a nation and its rate of economic growth. They are disturbed to find in their cross sections that faster economic growth statistically goes together with intolerance of homosexuals. In this comment, we revisit the issue and demonstrate that the concern expressed by BE is unwarranted if we properly account for “conditional convergence” in the regressions for economic growth. Other things being equal, a country grows faster if it starts from a poorer initial position. In the BE dataset, China since the Deng reforms is a prime example. At about the same time, another group of countries managed to accelerate their economic growth after a long period of stagnation: the ex-communist countries in central and Eastern Europe. Many of these nations also grew exceptionally fast for a number of years, once freedom had been regained and the initial chaos overcome. With simple modeling of these historical initial conditions, we find no statistical pattern that associates bias against homosexuals with weaker economic growth. Our results are robust under alternative specifications. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Eduard Bomhoff & Grace Lee, 2012. "Tolerance and economic growth revisited: a note," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 487-494, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:153:y:2012:i:3:p:487-494
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-012-0022-1
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    1. Niclas Berggren & Mikael Elinder, 2012. "Is tolerance good or bad for growth?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 283-308, January.
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    7. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sharon G.M. Koh & Grace H.Y. Lee & Eduard J. Bomhoff, 2016. "The dynamics of public opinion towards inequality in Malaysia," Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 578-598, October.
    2. Sherbaz, Sadia & Khan, Karim, 2021. "Societal Violence: The Role of Formal and Informal Institutions," MPRA Paper 106381, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Sanghoon Lee, 2021. "Social Tolerance and Economic Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 1087-1103, December.
    4. Karim Khan & Sadia Sherbaz, 2020. "Entertaining Douglass North: Political Violence and Social Order," PIDE-Working Papers 2020:174, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    5. Fatma M. Utku-Ismihan, 2017. "Knowledge, Technological Catch-Up and Economic Growth: A Dynamic Panel Data Analysis For MENA and Latin America," Working Papers 1146, Economic Research Forum, revised 10 2003.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tolerance; Growth; O40; Z13;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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