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Culture, Institutions, and the Wealth of Nations

Author

Listed:
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko

    (University of California, Berkeley and NBER)

  • Gerard Roland

    (University of California, Berkeley, NBER, and CEPR)

Abstract

We argue that a more individualist culture leads to more innovation and to higher growth because of the social status rewards associated with innovation in that culture. We use data on the frequency of particular genes associated with collectivist cultures, as well as a measure of distance in terms of frequencies of blood types, and historic prevalence of pathogens to instrument individualism scores. The relationship between individualism and innovation/growth remains strong even after controlling for institutions and other potentially confounding factors. We also provide evidence consistent with two-way causality between culture and institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Gerard Roland, 2017. "Culture, Institutions, and the Wealth of Nations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 402-416, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:99:y:2017:i:3:p:402-416
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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