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Why Culture Matters Most - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Why Culture Matters Most

David C. Rose


A society’s culture can lock in beliefs and practices that inevitably produce persistent poverty and tyranny. But a society’s culture can also provide a foundation for maximizing general prosperity and freedom to produce mass flourishing. This book explains why culture—not genes, geography, institutions, or policies—is therefore what ultimately explains the differential success of societies. In short, when certain kinds of moral beliefs are culturally transmitted, a society can overcome the most fundamental obstacle to societal success: rational self-interest undermining the common good. Gener ... More

Keywords: culture, trust, social capital, morality, institutions, group size, economic development, tribalism, political economy, multiculturalism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780199330720
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199330720.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David C. Rose, author
Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St. Louis

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