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Cognitive capital, governance, and the wealth of nations

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  • Kodila-Tedika, Oasis
  • Rindermann, Heiner
  • Christainsen, Gregory

Abstract

Good governance or “government effectiveness” (per the World Bank) is seen as a critical factor for the wealth of nations insofar as it shapes political and economic institutions and affects overall economic performance. The quality of governance, in turn, depends on the attributes of the people involved. In an analysis based on international data, government effectiveness was related to the cognitive human capital of the society as a whole, of the intellectual class, and of leading politicians. The importance of cognitive capital was reflected in the rate of innovation, the degree of economic freedom, and country competitiveness, all of which were found to have an impact on the level of productivity (GDP per capita) and wealth (per adult). Correlation, regression, and path analyses involving N=98 to 201 countries showed that government effectiveness had a very strong impact on productivity and wealth (total standardized effects of β=.56-.68). The intellectual class’s cognitive competence, seen as background factor and indicated by scores for the top 5 percent of the population on PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS, also had a strong impact (β=.50-.54). Cross-lagged panel designs were used to establish causal directions, including backward effects from economic freedom and wealth on governance. The use of further controls showed no independent impacts on per capita wealth coming from geographical variables or natural resource rents. Finally, we discuss background factors and ways in which governance might be improved.

Suggested Citation

  • Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Rindermann, Heiner & Christainsen, Gregory, 2014. "Cognitive capital, governance, and the wealth of nations," MPRA Paper 57563, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:57563
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Oasis Kodila†Tedika & Simplice A. Asongu, 2018. "Does Intelligence Affect Economic Diversification?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 19(1), pages 74-93, February.
    2. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Simplice Asongu, 2015. "The Effect of Intelligence on Financial Development: A Cross-Country Comparison," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 15/002, African Governance and Development Institute..
    3. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Asongu, Simplice & Azia-Dimbu, Florentin, 2016. "The Sensitive Nature of Social Trust to Intelligence," MPRA Paper 70523, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Asongu, Simplice & Azia-Dimbu, Florentin, 2015. "Statistics and IQ in Developing Countries: A Note," MPRA Paper 68323, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Burhan, Nik Ahmad Sufian & Che Razak, Razli & Salleh, Fauzilah & Labastida Tovar, María Elena, 2017. "Intelligence and the Ease of Doing Business: Does Intellectual Class Facilitate Leadership and Entrepreneurship?," MPRA Paper 77503, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Burhan, Nik Ahmad Sufian & Che Razak, Razli & Selamat, Muhamad Rosli & Rosli, Muhamad Ridhwan, 2017. "Intellectual Giftedness for Leadership: How Robust is the Crime Reducing Effect of Intellectual Class?," MPRA Paper 77467, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Simplice A. Asongu & Oasis Kodila-Tedika, 2018. "“This One Is 400 Libyan Dinars, This One Is 500”: Insights from Cognitive Human Capital and Slave Trade," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 291-306, April.
    8. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Simplice A. Asongu, 2016. "Genetic distance and cognitive human capital: a cross-national investigation," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 33-51, April.
    9. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Asongu, Simplice, 2015. "Intelligence, Human Capital and HIV/AIDS: Fresh Exploration," MPRA Paper 68320, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Solieva, Mastura, 2017. "Cognitive abilities and sustainable development: a global analysis," MPRA Paper 77055, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Azam, Sardor, 2017. "A cross-country empirical test of cognitive abilities and innovation nexus," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 128-136.
    12. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Tcheta-Bampa, Albert, 2014. "Cold War and Institutional Quality: Some Empirical Evidence," MPRA Paper 53965, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Simplice A. Asongu & Oasis Kodila-Tedika, 2018. "“This one is 400 Libyan dinars, this one is 500†: Insights from Cognitive Human Capital and Slave Trade," AFEA Working Papers 18/014, African Finance and Economic Association (AFEA).
    14. Salahodjaev, Raufhon, 2017. "Government size, intelligence and life satisfaction," MPRA Paper 76902, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2018. "Natural Resource Governance: Does Social Media Matter?," MPRA Paper 84809, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    government effectiveness; human capital; cognitive ability; intelligence; economic freedom; innovation; competitiveness;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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