I draw one more connection here:


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Inequality is considerably higher than in the U.S. although there is a slowly emerging middle class.

The U.S. though has unusually high trust for a comparatively unequal society. While there is less trust between individuals and governments than there might be elsewhere there is much higher trust between individuals and individuals and between individuals and corporations.

Where I live no one trusts a merchant. Everyone believes they are being cheated or worry that what they're buying is fake (particularly with food stuffs). As a result name brands (particularly foreign ones) have a strong price premium...nothing like outsourcing your quality control.

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Buck Farmer, I seem to recall that recent studies also show that mistrust is tightly correlated with economic inequity within a society, independent of how wealthy the society is overall. Do you happen to know much about the distribution of wealth where you live? I wonder how that type of inequality effects bribery, etc.

It seems that this would also raise interesting questions relative to Dr. Hanson's original post: the high value of economic individualism in the United States seems to produce more unequal distributions of wealth than in other rich countries that seem less individualistic. I'll have to take a look at the articles to see whether and how these factors are accounted for.

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Currently living in a developing economy, I observe significantly less strict rule-following than in developed economies. A few examples:

1. Queuing2. Traffic laws3. Avoiding entirely or using bribery to acquire licenses

Relatedly. I observe lower levels of trust both between individuals and between individuals and institutions. There is also a greater willingness to see an individuals particular situation as justification for making an exception to a rule.

In the social / personal sphere there may be more enforcement of rules / norms, but in the public / economic sphere there is considerably less.

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How does this fit in with the two-dimensional World-Values graph?

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Rich, yes, but happy? Collectivist societies are apparently better at that, at least with people genetically prone to depression - so much so that the depression-vulnerable alleles are way more common in collectivist societies.

Not that I or anyone I know would want to live in one.

Culture–gene coevolution of individualism–collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene

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