This article highlights the impact of values on the country’s welfare. Values that are quite constant over a long period of time form an institutional framework within the country. They can contribute to economic development or even prevent it. The aim of the article is to explore, what is the influence of social values, democracy and trade on welfare levels in different counties. The hypothesis is that the dominance in society of secular-rational values and the values of self-expression, democracy and trade (openness to the world) have a positive effect on the level of welfare of countries. The empirical part of the paper is based on the comparative analysis of relationship between GDP per capita and four values such as tolerance and respect, obedience, trust and freedom of choice for two waves of WVS – 2005-2009 and 2010-2014. Using correlation and regression analysis, the relationships between these indicators were evaluated. These values have a positive impact on welfare in OECD countries, some countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa with middle income per capita. However, there is a negative relationship between obedience and GDP per capita. This value is more important for some African and Asian countries and India. The relationship between GDP per capita and the aggregate value index showed a strong positive correlation for OECD countries. Then the regression model was estimated to assess the impact of values, trade and level of democracy on welfare growth and development. The results of the regression analysis showed a significant effect of the aggregated value indicator for all six samples, but this effect is weaker for high-income countries. The effect of the level of democracy is significant and positive only for the sub-sample of democratic countries, while it is negative for high-income countries. The effect of the level of trade on GDP per capita is statistically significant for the sample of all countries, the sub-sample of non-democratic countries and the sub-sample of high income and upper-middle income countries. Thus, we conclude that the institutional factors (the values and the level of democracy) are important determinants of GDP per capita for democratic countries while for non-democratic countries trade is more important.
How to Cite
social values, formal and informal institutions, GDP per capita, trade, democracy
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