The deep historical roots of modern culture: A comparative perspective.
This paper presents evidence showing that since antiquity there have
been two opposed types of institutional systems: one resembling central planning
and present in ancient China, ancient Egypt, the Inca Empire and other territorial
states, and another one with strong market institutions, protection of property
rights present mostly in city-states not just in the Mediterranean but throughout the
world. Evidence is presented that these institutional differences dating back to the
antiquity, and shaped by special geographical conditions, consistent with the idea
that these institutional differences can be seen to be at the root of the two cultural
systems in today’s world: individualism and collectivism. These cultural differences
have effects on economic performance and institutions in today’s world.