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7 - Confucian Culture as the Key Differentiating Factor

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 August 2021

Tian Zhu
Affiliation:
CEIBS
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Summary

Chapter 7 further elaborates and defends the idea that it is Confucian culture’s emphasis on hard work, savings, and education that has enabled China (and other East Asian economies influenced by Confucian culture) to rapidly accumulate both physical and human capital and to absorb existing Western technologies and develop indigenous innovation capacity better than other developing countries, leading to its rapid economic rise. It addresses some of the common objections to the cultural theory as well as some misunderstandings of the theory. This chapter also shows that there has been a cultural awakening in economics in the past two decades and that an increasing number of leading economists have explored both theoretically and empirically the role of culture in economic growth and development. The last section of the chapter considers the role of some other Confucian values such as benevolence and trustworthiness in helping to promote economic growth in a society with a weak rule of law.

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Catching Up to America
Culture, Institutions, and the Rise of China
, pp. 156 - 175
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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