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The Spirit of Capitalism and Socialism. A Cross-country Study of Ideology


  • Martin Paldam
  • Christian Bjørnskov


The World Values Survey contains an item on ownership, which is polled 200 times in 92 countries at the four waves of 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005. It is developed into the CS-score that measures the aggregate mass support for capitalism and socialism. Four hypotheses are advanced and tested to explain the wide cross-country variation in the CS-score: (A1) It is partly due to the cross-country distribution of income, and consequently the West stands out as the most capitalist-minded area of the world. (A2) It is associated with the institutions of the country such as legal quality. (A3) It is related to the left-right dimension in politics. (A4) It is influenced by cultural differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Paldam & Christian Bjørnskov, 2010. "The Spirit of Capitalism and Socialism. A Cross-country Study of Ideology," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_025, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  • Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_025

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    Property rights; ideology; institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • P14 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Property Rights


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