Can culture influence economic growth?: An examination of the impact of cultural factors on economic growth in developing economies

Kanthonga, Saston Arthur (2018) Can culture influence economic growth?: An examination of the impact of cultural factors on economic growth in developing economies. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The thesis has investigated if cultural factors influence economic growth differences among countries. It was motivated by the intriguing question as to whether the gap between developed and developing countries is widening. Technically speaking, some countries which were regarded as underdeveloped three or four decades ago are now regarded as developed as articulated in the introduction to chapter 1. On the other hand, Sub-Saharan African region has failed to register convincing economic development (Seguino and Were, 2014, p. 1).
The mixed methods design used in this thesis engaged distinct frameworks of both quantitative and qualitative paradigms to answer the research questions within this thesis. Implementing mixed research design in this thesis enables the investigation of how each variable in the study, environments, and institutions interact with each other in different contexts to produce measured effects. For instance, the study examined two sub-samples of developed and developing countries, 6 countries in each sub-sample. Further, the study also examined 18 representative Sub-Saharan countries to answer the research question. Lastly, a multi-case study of Malawi and Botswana was undertaken. The first two contexts of study used secondary data analysis. The multi-case study was used to drill down deeper than secondary data analysis allowed.
This thesis focussed on the interaction between culture and economic growth. The literature review indicated that the impact of culture on growth is not particularly well articulated at present, and therefore this thesis seeks to make a contribution to this aspect of theory and practice. In addition, to the extent that culture has a significant impact on growth potential and its realisation, culture is not homogenous in Sub-Saharan Africa. This will have potentially significant impact upon different countries, and should be taken into consideration by governments and development agencies seeking to promote economic growth and sustainable development across the African continent.

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