Cultural Data Mirror International Structural Economic Differences

Colin Ellis & Oleg Oleksiy

Published: March 2018

Data on cultural differences between countries based on the definitions developed by Geert Hofstede are now available for more than 80 countries. Data on six structural economic indicators published by the World Bank—ease of doing business, enforcement of contracts, control of corruption, government effectiveness, rule of law and political stability—are available for the same set of countries from 2000 onwards. Significant correlations between cultural factors and structural economic conditions suggest that differences across countries may persist for many years and that convergence is likely to be a very slow process. In Europe the single currency is a political project, but the extent to which cultural and structural economic differences remain suggests that the tail risk of euro fragmentation or break-up could persist for many years.

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