Culture Rules: The Foundations of the Rule of Law and Other Norms of Governance
Amir N. Licht
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law
Shalom H. Schwartz
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Psychology; National Research University Higher School of Economics
December 12, 2006
This study presents evidence about relations between national culture and social institutions. We operationalize culture with data on cultural dimensions for over 50 nations adopted from cross-cultural psychology and generate testable hypotheses about three basic social norms of governance: the rule of law, corruption, and democratic accountability. These norms correlate systematically and strongly with national scores on cultural dimensions and also differ across cultural regions of the world. Using a linguistic variable on pronoun drop as an instrument for cultural emphases on autonomy versus embeddedness points to a significant influence of culture on governance, with a clear link to economic outcomes. Using cultural profiles of a previous generation as an instrument indicates relative stability of cultural orientations and of their correlates. The results suggest a framework for understanding the relations between fundamental institutions of social order as well as policy implications for reform programs.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 56
JEL Classification: K00, O10, O19, P20, P26, P50, Z13working papers series
Date posted: June 24, 2002
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