Egalitarianism and International Investment

41 Pages Posted: 1 May 2006 Last revised: 10 Nov 2010

Jordan I. Siegel

University of Michigan

Amir N. Licht

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Shalom H. Schwartz

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Psychology; National Research University Higher School of Economics

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Date Written: November 4, 2010

Abstract

This study identifies how country differences on a key cultural dimension - egalitarianism - influence the direction of different types of international investment flows. A society's cultural orientation towards egalitarianism is manifested by intolerance for abuses of market and political power and a desire for protecting the weak and less powerful actors. We show egalitarianism to be based on exogenous factors including social fractionalization, dominant religion circa 1900, and war experience from the 19th century era of state formation. Controlling for a large set of competing explanations, we find a robust influence of egalitarianism distance on cross-national investment flows of bond and equity issuances, syndicated loans, and mergers and acquisitions. An informal cultural institution largely determined a century or more ago, egalitarianism exercises its effect on international investment via an associated set of consistent contemporary policy choices. But even after controlling for these associated policy choices, egalitarianism continues to exercise a direct effect on cross-border investment flows, likely through its direct influence on managers’ daily business conduct.

Keywords: culture, informal institutions, social institutions, egalitarianism, cultural distance

JEL Classification: F21, F23, G32, G34, K22, K4, Z13

Suggested Citation

Siegel, Jordan I. and Licht, Amir N. and Schwartz, Shalom H., Egalitarianism and International Investment (November 4, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=899082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.899082

Jordan I. Siegel (Contact Author)

University of Michigan ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI
United States

Amir N. Licht

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel
972-9-952-7332 (Phone)
952-9-9513323 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium
952-9-9513323 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http:/www.ecgi.org

Shalom H. Schwartz

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Psychology ( email )

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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