Urban Regional

Cultural Influences on Economic Analysis: Theory and by Rongxing Guo (auth.)

By Rongxing Guo (auth.)

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Nevertheless, neither mainstream or heterodox economists paid much attention to measures of culture as determinants of economic growth during the Cold War era. Since then there has been a growing tendency for researchers such as Huntington (1996), Landes (1999) and Inglehart and Baker (2000) to use a nation’s culture to explain economic growth. Recently, Barro and McCleary (2003) analysed the influences of religious participation and beliefs on a country’s rate of economic progress. They found that economic growth responds positively to the extent of religious belief, but negatively to church attendance.

Other authors have defined a relatively small number of culture areas. For example, Kendall (1976) classified the world into six distinct culture areas: • • • • • • Western Islamic Indian East Asian Southeast Asian and African In Kendall’s study, the Western culture area, which is composed of four sub-culture areas (Northwest Europe, Canada, the USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand; the Mediterranean; Central Asia; and the former USSR), is very heterogeneous in terms of geography, political economy and culture.

9 per cent) (Britannica Book of the Year, 2001). Obviously, the largest change recorded above has been the increase in the proportion of people classified as ‘non-religious’ or ‘atheist’. This could reflect a major shift away from religion, and the religious resurgence of the late twentieth century was yet to gather full steam. Yet this increase in nonbelievers is closely matched by the decrease in those classified as adherents of ‘Chinese folk-religions’ (usually mixed with elements of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism).

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