Skip to main content

Understanding Cultural Determinants of Scientific-Knowledge Development: Empirical Conceptualization from a Cross-Country Investigation

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to test three hypotheses with regard to the development of scientific knowledge in relation to cultural dimensions. Two empirical models are formed to identify the causal effects of the cultural dimensions on scientific-knowledge development. The three hypotheses are tested in a case study consisting of 74 countries. Robust standard-error regressions are presented. The results show that the degree of egalitarian and hierarchical ethos across countries aids the growth of scientific knowledge. The empirical evidence complements new insights to the hypothesis of individualism-induced innovation. The evidence in this paper shows that the positive effect of individualism on the growth of scientific knowledge is also considerably lower than that of an egalitarian and hierarchical system. The proposition in this paper shows new insight into the economic and institutional evolution rooted in universal values of culture. As the world economy has been burdened by the enormous inequality of development, cultivating awareness of the competitive advantage hidden in cultural values is an essential prescription for advancing development policy pertaining to knowledge.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  • Aghion, P., Harris, C., Howitt, P., & Vickers, J. (2001). Competition, imitation and growth with step-by-step innovation. Review of Economic Studies, 68(3), 467–492.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Aghion, P., Bloom, N., Blundell, R., Griffith, R., & Howitt, P. (2005). Competition and innovation: An inverted-U relationship. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120(2), 701–728.

    Google Scholar 

  • Aghion, P., Blundell, R., Griffith, R., Howitt, P., & Prantl, S. (2009). The effects of entry on incumbent innovation and productivity. Review of Economics and Statistics, 91(1), 20–32.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Akaike, H. (1973). Information theory and an extension of the maximum likelihood principle. In B. N. Petrov & F. Csaki (Eds.), Second international symposium on information theory (pp. 267–281). Budapest: Akailseoniai–Kiudo.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alesina, A., Spolaore, E., & Wacziarg, R. (2005). Trade, growth and the size of countries. Handbook of Economic Growth, 1(B), 1499–1542.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alesina, A., Harnoss, J., & Rapoport, H. (2016). Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity. Journal of Economic Growth, 21(2), 101–138.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alvard, M. S. (2003). The adaptive nature of culture. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 12(3), 136–149.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Aragones, E., Gilboa, I., Postlewaite, A., & Schmeidler, D. (2005). Fact-free learning. American Economic Review, 95(5), 1355–1368.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Arrow, K. J. (1962). The economic implications of learning by doing. Review of Economic Studies, 29(3), 155–173.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bisin, A., & Verdier, T. (2000). “Beyond the melting pot”: Cultural transmission, marriage, and the evolution of ethnic and religious traits. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115(3), 955–988.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blaug, M. (1991). The historiography of economics. Aldershot and Brookfield: Edward Elgar.

    Google Scholar 

  • Breusch, T. S., & Pagan, A. R. (1979). A simple test for heteroscedasticity and random coefficient variation. Econometrica, 47(5), 1287–1294.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Covi, G. (2016). Local systems’ strategies copying with globalization: Collective local entrepreneurship. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 7(2), 513–525.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • De Moraes, C. O., Montes, G. C., & Antunes, J. A. P. (2016). How does capital regulation react to monetary policy? New evidence on the risk-taking channel. Economic Modelling, 56, 177–186.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dubina, I. N., Carayannis, E. G., & Campbell, D. F. J. (2012). Creativity economy and a crisis of the economy? Coevolution of knowledge, innovation, and creativity, and of the knowledge economy and knowledge society. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 3(1), 1–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Easterly, W., & Levine, R. (1997). Africa’s growth tragedy: Policies and ethnic divisions. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(4), 1203–1250.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gkouzos, A., & Christofakis, M. (2018). Multiplier effects under a disaggregate economic base model. Journal of Economic Studies, 45(2), 383–400.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gorodnichenko, Y., & Roland, G. (2011). Which dimensions of culture matter for long-run growth? American Economic Review, 101(3), 492–498.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gorodnichenko, Y., & Roland, G. (2017). Culture, institutions, and the wealth of nations. Review of Economics and Statistics, 99(3), 402–416.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gujarati, D. N. (2003). Basic econometrics. NY: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansen, C. W. (2013). Economic growth and individualism: The role of informal institutions. Economics Letters, 118(2), 378–380.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hofstede Insights. (n.d.). Intercultural management: Compare countries. https://www.hofstede-insights.com/product/compare-countries/. Accessed 2 Jul 2018.

  • Hofstede, G. (1980). Motivation, leadership, and organization: Do American theories apply abroad? Organizational Dynamics, 9(1), 42–63.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hofstede, G. (1993). Cultural constraints in management theories. Academy of Management Executive, 7(1), 81–94.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hofstede, G. (1994). The business of international business is culture. International Business Review, 3(1), 1–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hofstede, G. (1999). Problems remain, but theories will change: The universal and the specific in 21st-century global management. Organizational Dynamics, 27(1), 34–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jaffe, A. B. (1989). Real effects of academic research. American Economic Review, 79(5), 957–970.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones, C. I. (1999). Growth: With or without scale effects? American Economic Review, 89(2), 139–144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mankiw, N., Phelps, E., & Romer, P. (1995). The growth of nations. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1995(1), 275–326.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mansfield, E. (1995). Academic research underlying industrial innovations: Sources, characteristics, and financing. Review of Economics and Statistics, 77(1), 55–65.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maurseth, P. B. (2018). The effect of the internet on economic growth: Counter-evidence from cross-country panel data. Economics Letters, 172, 74–77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • National Science Foundation. (n.d.). Science and engineering indicators: Scientific and Technical Journal Articles. World Bank: World Development Indicators. https://databank.worldbank.org/source/world-development-indicators. Accessed 7 Oct 2018.

  • Persson, K. G., & Sharp, P. (2015). An economic history of Europe. Knowledge, institutions and growth, 600 to the present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Ramsey, J. B. (1969). Tests for specification errors in classical linear least-squares regression analysis. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 31(2), 350–371.

    Google Scholar 

  • Romer, P. M. (1986). Increasing returns and long-run growth. Journal of Political Economy, 94(5), 1002–1037.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Romer, P. M. (1990). Endogenous technological change. Journal of Political Economy, 98(5), S71–S102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schwartz, S. H. (2008). The 7 Schwartz cultural value orientation scores for 80 countries. ResearchGate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304715744_The_7_Schwartz_cultural_value_orientation_scores_for_80_countries. Accessed 2 July 2018. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.3313.3040

  • Snowdon, B., & Vane, H. R. (2005). Modern macroeconomics: Its origins, development and current state. Cornwall: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

    Google Scholar 

  • United Nations Development Programme. (n.d.). Human development reports, human development data (1990-2017): Human development index. http://hdr.undp.org/en/data. Accessed 7 Oct 2018.

  • Williams, L. K., & McGuire, S. J. (2010). Economic creativity and innovation implementation: The entrepreneurial drivers of growth? Evidence from 63 countries. Small Business Economics, 34(4), 391–412.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wittgenstein, L. (1922). Tractatus logico-philosophicus. London: Routledge 1961 reprint.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wooldridge, J. M. (2010). Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. MA: MIT press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The author is grateful to the anonymous reviewers and journal editors for their time and constructive comments. The data that support the findings of this study are publicly available from the sources cited in the text and reference list.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Enn Lun Yong.

Ethics declarations

Competing Interests

The author declares that there are no financial and/or non-financial competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yong, E.L. Understanding Cultural Determinants of Scientific-Knowledge Development: Empirical Conceptualization from a Cross-Country Investigation. J Knowl Econ 11, 1646–1662 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13132-020-00626-4

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13132-020-00626-4

Keywords

  • Cultural dimension
  • Egalitarianism
  • Hierarchy
  • Individualism
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge