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Values and Economic Performance: Theory and some Evidence from Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Gilad Aharonovitz
  • Elizabeth Kabura Nyaga

    () (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)

Abstract

Policy, saving rates, human capital, etc. are possible explanations for poor economic performance, but while these factors are changeable, underdevelopment persists. Looking for an unchangeable factor, we construct a theory for the effect of values, such as moral values, risk-taking, and responsibility to others, on economic performance, and demonstrate it using a model in which responsibility for parents prevents development. We construct data of economic performance and values of seven tribes in Kenya by inferring values from children's stories, and verify the model. Thus, we open a door for the quantitative analysis of the effect of values over the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilad Aharonovitz & Elizabeth Kabura Nyaga, 2008. "Values and Economic Performance: Theory and some Evidence from Kenya," Working Papers 2008-18, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsu:wpaper:aharonovitz-1
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    File URL: http://faculty.ses.wsu.edu/WorkingPapers/Aharonovitz/WP_2008-18_ValuesK_short_abstract.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic development; values; social norms; Kenya;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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