Individual Respect and Prosperity

One of the major problems economists face today is that some countries are not developing very well. This problem has brought life to the sub-discipline of Developmental Economics. Economist Bill Easterly is one of the most respected researchers in this field. He has started a new blog and put a very interesting post up where he draws a correlation between individual respect and prosperity. This is how he defines individual respect:

“To drastically oversimplify, values across different cultures lie along a spectrum between two separate poles: (1) valuing individual autonomy, believing in equal treatment of individuals, reliance on formal law, the same moral standards apply to all, enforcement of morality is between individuals vs. (2) seeing the individual mainly or only as part of the group, different standards of treatment for group insiders and outsiders, morality only applies to interactions within the group, group enforcement of moral standards, reliance on informal rather than formal institutions”

The following is an interesting graph. The graph is the relationship between development and individuality:


This shows that Capitalism which strives for the individualist in everyone is better for a country than Socialism or Communism which is about community work.

The rest is here.



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