Deep-Rooted Culture and Economic Development: Taking the Seven Deadly Sins to Build a Well-Being Composite Indicator
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This work involves undertaking a reappraisal of the Seven Deadly Sins in order to construct synthetic indicators of well-being aimed at measuring spatial economic disparities and their link to economic development. The Seven Deadly Sins constitute a way of describing vices vis-à-vis Christian moral education. Yet they might also be viewed as general norms of social behaviour and interpreted today as notions related to the concept of well-being. For example, the level of concentration of wealth (greed), sustainability of resources (gluttony), safety index (wrath), problems adapting to the labour market or workplace absenteeism (sloth), etc. The Seven Deadly Sins have also yielded emblematic examples of artistic iconography and cultural production. How they are perceived and expressed may also differ depending on each group’s cultural idiosyncrasy, in the sense of a series of beliefs and attitudes forged over the centuries. Based on these premises, the current work first seeks to compile variables that reflect each conceptual dimension so as to later construct a synthetic indicator of well-being with territorial disaggregation. This enables us to explore spatial disparities and the extent to which they relate to economic development. This is applied to a group of countries in the European Union with NUTS 2 territorial disaggregation (regions). The sources of information are basically Eurostat. The method involves applying Data Envelopment Analysis to construct the synthetic indicator, and spatial econometrics to pinpoint spatial dependence effects.
KeywordsCultural identity Welfare indicators Economic development Synthetic indicators Deadly sins Europe
JEL ClassificationZ11 Z13 R12 O12
The authors would like to thank the participants at the 8th Spanish Workshop on Cultural Economics and Management, Seville, and the 20th ACEI International Conference on Cultural Economics, Melbourne, for comments and discussion on a preliminary version of the paper. Usual disclaimer applies.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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