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A global tolerance index

Jayoti Das (Elon University, Elon, North Carolina, USA)
Cassandra DiRienzo (Elon University, Elon, North Carolina, USA)
Thomas Tiemann (Elon University, Elon, North Carolina, USA)

Competitiveness Review

ISSN: 1059-5422

Article publication date: 5 September 2008




The aim of this paper is to create a country‐level measure of tolerance and to test the relationships between this measure of country‐level tolerance and percentage of talented workers, economic development, and competitiveness.


A country‐level measure of tolerance for 62 countries is created using responses from the World Values Survey. In particular, four survey responses which closely mirror the traditional definitions of tolerance are considered in the creation of the index. To test the relationships between country‐level tolerance and percentage of talented workers, economic development, and competitiveness, a series of hypotheses tests are conducted using the Spearman and Pearson correlation coefficients.


The results suggest that more tolerant countries tend to attract more net migrants, have a greater concentration of talented workers, higher levels of economic development, and are more competitive.

Research limitations/implications

While, the results of this analysis suggest that tolerance is an important factor for economic prosperity, it should be noted that tolerance alone cannot foster development. Many other factors have a significant effect on economic prosperity and while tolerance is found to be a significant factor, a more tolerant environment alone will not create economic gains.

Practical implications

Global companies needing to attract talented workers should develop policies and work environments which encourage acceptance and tolerance for differences.


This paper provides a measure of country‐level tolerance for 62 countries and establishes the value of tolerance in regard to economic prosperity. This study has value to researchers studying tolerance at the country‐level and to managers of global companies.



Das, J., DiRienzo, C. and Tiemann, T. (2008), "A global tolerance index", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 192-205.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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