Income Inequality, The World Values Survey, and the Interaction of Cultural Dimensions

Edwards, J.A., Romero A., Naanwaab, C.

Applied Econometrics and International Development, vol. 22, issue 2, 5-24 (2022)

Abstract: Globally, the unequal distribution of income has been one of the hottest topics in development economics ever since Kuznets’ famous hypothesis in 1955. Much of this research, however, avoids investigation into the effect(s) that cultural values and norms have on the level of income inequality in a nation–information that would be invaluable to governments addressing this topic. Using the World Values Survey, we find that secular, individualist societies will have lower inequality than traditional collective societies, but this generalization comes with caveats depending upon the level of income in the country and the degree of interaction between the two variables.

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