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Culture as a Configuration of Values: An Archetypal Perspective

Experimental Economics and Culture

ISBN: 978-1-78743-820-0, eISBN: 978-1-78743-819-4

Publication date: 14 December 2018


The aim of this chapter is to: (1) model culture as a configuration of multiple values, (2) identify different culture archetypes across the globe, and (3) empirically demonstrate heterogeneity in culture archetypes within and across 52 countries. We use Schwartz values from the World Values Survey (WVS) and the archetypal analysis (AA) method to identify diverse culture archetypes within and across countries. We find significant heterogeneity in culture values archetypes within countries and homogeneity across countries, calling into question the assumption of uniform national culture values in economics and other fields. We show how the heterogeneity in culture values across the globe can be represented with a small number of distinctive archetypes. The study could be extended to include a larger set of countries, and/or cover a broader range of theoretically grounded values than those available in the Schwartz values model in the WVS. Research and practice often assume cultural homogeneity within nations and cultural diversity across nations. Our finding of different culture archetypes within countries and similar archetypes across countries demonstrates the important role of culture sharing and exchange as a source of reducing cultural conflicts between nations and enhancing creativity and innovation through interaction and integration in novel ways. We examine culture as a configuration of multiple values, and use a novel AA method to capture heterogeneity in culture values within and across countries.




This work was supported by a research and development grant from INSEAD.


Midgley, D.F., Venaik, S. and Christopoulos, D. (2018), "Culture as a Configuration of Values: An Archetypal Perspective", Experimental Economics and Culture (Research in Experimental Economics, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 63-88.



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