Does Rice Farming Shape Individualism and Innovation? A Response to Talhelm et al. (2014)

24 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2015

See all articles by Jianqing Ruan

Jianqing Ruan

China Academy for Rural Development, Zhejiang University

Zhuan Xie

Peking University

Xiaobo Zhang

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: December 2, 2014

Abstract

Talhelm et al. (2014) provided an original rice theory to explain large psychological differences across countries and even within countries and their impact on innovation. However, their findings are subject to the problems of sample bias, measurement error, and model misspecification. After correcting these problems, most findings in the original paper no longer hold. The authors of this paper collected data on collectivism from other sources and linked them with rice areas but failed to find any relationship as predicted by the rice theory. The role of rice farming in shaping cultural psychology and innovations seems to be much more muted.

Keywords: China, east Asia, Asia, Rice, Innovation, Sociology, Psychology, Rice Theory, Individualism

Suggested Citation

Ruan, Jianqing and Xie, Zhuan and Zhang, Xiaobo, Does Rice Farming Shape Individualism and Innovation? A Response to Talhelm et al. (2014) (December 2, 2014). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1389, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2539567

Jianqing Ruan (Contact Author)

China Academy for Rural Development, Zhejiang University ( email )

Yuhangtang Road 866
Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058
China

Zhuan Xie

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Xiaobo Zhang

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States
202-862-5677 (Phone)
202-467-4439 (Fax)

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