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Institutions, Culture and the Tropical Development Gap

Bernard Poirine and Vincent Dropsy ()
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Vincent Dropsy: GDI - Gouvernance et développement insulaire - UPF - Université de la Polynésie Française

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Abstract: The development gap between countries in tropical and temperate zones has been attributed to a variety of factors. Using data from the World Values Survey, we find that social norms about thrift, as opposed to sharing, vary with the length of the winter season. We also show that this cultural dimension "thrift versus sharing" and institutional quality both have an independent effect on contemporary economic outcomes. This suggests that the tropical development gap might be the consequence of deep-rooted effects of pre-industrial agro-climatic conditions on both the quality of institutions and social norms about thrift versus sharing that fostered development in the industrial era.

Keywords: Social norms; Cultural evolution; Time preference; Long-term orientation; Economic development; Comparative development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-his and nep-soc
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.science/hal-02133270
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Published in Journal of Economic Issues, 2018, 52

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