During recent times, the stock market has emerged as a major financial institution of an economy. Yet, cross-country differences, in size and role of stock market, persist. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the correlation between cultural traits and the development of the stock market in a country. Considering multiple dimensions of culture, identified in the literature by Hofstede (1980/2001) and World Value Survey, the authors construct the hypotheses: trust, a key cultural trait, should positively influence stock market development; uncertainty avoidance, Hofstede’s cultural dimension should negatively influence the development of the stock market; and individualism, an alternate cultural dimension of Hofstede’s measures, should be positively correlated with stock market development. The cross-country empirical analysis supports the hypotheses. The results hold for multiple measures of stock market development.
This paper investigates the correlation between various cultural traits and the development of the stock market in a country. Specifically, the authors consider three different cultural trait measures. The authors consider a cross-sectional analysis of an extensive number of countries. While all explanatory variables of interest are considered over the period 2000-2007, the authors consider 2008 figures for the dependent variables of interest, financial development. Ordinary least squares is considered as the benchmark specification. Robust regression has been considered as part of robustness analysis. The authors mention throughout the paper that the results stress on significant association between the variables, only.
The empirical results support the hypotheses. The first measure, trust, is positively associated with stock market development of a nation. Statistically, for one standard deviation rise in trust (1 SD=37.5), stock market capitalization will go up between 11 and 19 percentage points. Uncertainty avoidance, the second measure is negatively correlated and statistically, the impact is much greater. Finally, the third measure, individualism, is positively correlated with stock market development. Statistically, for one SD rise in individualism (SD=23.9), stock market capitalization will rise by 23 percentage points.
Existing literature has stressed the role of cultural traits – trust, uncertainty avoidance, individualism – in the promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation and growth. Since most startups need to raise capital in order to implement their new ideas, cross-country heterogeneity in the strength of capital markets may lead to important differences in entrepreneurship and productivity growth across economies (Greenwood and Jovanovic, 1990; Jayaratne and Strahan, 1996; Levine, 1997; Beck et al., 2000; Guiso et al., 2004). Yet, the link between stock market development and cultural traits has not been established in the literature. This paper aims to fill this missing link.
The authors would like to thank the editor and the referees for their invaluable comments and suggestions.
Dutta, N. and Mukherjee, D. (2015), "Cultural traits and stock market development: an empirical analysis", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 33-49. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEPP-01-2013-0003Download as .RIS
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