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A measure of technological level for the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample

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  • E. Anthon Eff
  • Abhradeep Maiti

Abstract

Technology differs from other features of culture in that the Boasian stance of cultural relativism seems less binding: one can argue that the technology of one society is superior or inferior to the technology of another. This comparison is possible because technological change—as described by S.C. Gilfillan, Clarence Ayres, and Jane Jacobs—operates through the process of combining existing elements of technology to create new elements. Technology is therefore cumulative, so that a more advanced technology contains more elements than a less advanced. We exploit this cumulative nature of technology to create a measure of technological level for the 186 ethnographically known societies in the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Anthon Eff & Abhradeep Maiti, 2013. "A measure of technological level for the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample," Working Papers 201302, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:mts:wpaper:201302
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    File URL: http://capone.mtsu.edu/berc/working/SCCStechnology.pdf
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    Keywords

    technology; Standard Cross-Cultural Sample;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary

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