Shared cultural history as a predictor of political and economic changes among nation states

Luke J. Matthews, Sam Passmore, Paul M. Richard, Russell D. Gray, Quentin D. Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
258 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Political and economic risks arise from social phenomena that spread within and across countries. Regime changes, protest movements, and stock market and default shocks can have ramifications across the globe. Quantitative models have made great strides at predicting these events in recent decades but incorporate few explicitlymeasured cultural variables. However, in recent years cultural evolutionary theory has emerged as a major paradigm to understand the inheritance and diffusion of human cultural variation. Here, we combine these two strands of research by proposing thatmeasures of socio-linguistic affiliation derived from language phylogenies track variation in cultural norms that influence how political and economic changes diffuse across the globe. First, we show that changes over time in a country's democratic or autocratic character correlate with simultaneous changes among their sociolinguistic affiliations more than with changes of spatially proximate countries. Second, we find that models of changes in sovereign default status favor including socio-linguistic affiliations in addition to spatial data. These findings suggest that better measurement of cultural networks could be profoundly useful to policy makers who wish to diversify commercial, social, and other forms of investment across political and economic risks on an international scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0152979
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Shared cultural history as a predictor of political and economic changes among nation states'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this