Corruption and Wealth: Unveiling a national prosperity syndrome in Europe

5 Nov 2015  ·  Juan C. Correa, Klaus Jaffe ·

Data mining revealed a cluster of economic, psychological, social and cultural indicators that in combination predicted corruption and wealth of European nations. This prosperity syndrome of self-reliant citizens, efficient division of labor, a sophisticated scientific community, and respect for the law, was clearly distinct from that of poor countries that had a diffuse relationship between high corruption perception, low GDP/capita, high social inequality, low scientific development, reliance on family and friends, and languages with many words for guilt. This suggests that there are many ways for a nation to be poor, but few ones to become rich, supporting the existence of synergistic interactions between the components in the prosperity syndrome favoring economic growth. No single feature was responsible for national prosperity. Focusing on synergies rather than on single features should improve our understanding of the transition from poverty and corruption to prosperity in European nations and elsewhere.

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