The role of culture in the economic development of countries

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The role of culture in the economic development of countries is often overlooked by economists, yet it can significantly affect a country’s economic development. Culture generates assets, such as skills, products, expression, and insight that contribute to the social and economic well being of the community. I will show the benefit of culture’s impact on economic development through tourism, social capital, and corporate governance. In contrast, culture can produce negative outcomes in economic development. Cultural issues, such as gender inequality, lack of social capital, and diminishing cultural heritages, contribute to a downgrading economy.
To understand culture’s impact on a country’s economic development, it is important to understand what culture is: a system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people and that when taken together constitute a design for living (Hill 98). Furthermore, it is about the way the people live, and how the quality of their lives can be improved. It shapes “the way things are done” and our understanding of why this should be so. Culture is concerned with identity, aspiration, symbolic exchange, coordination, and structures and practices that serve relational ends, such as ethnicity, rituals, heritage, norms, meanings, and beliefs. It is not a set of primitive wonders permanently embedded within national, religious, or other groups, but rather a set of contested attributes, constantly changing, both shaping and being shaped by social and economic aspects of human interaction.
Economic development is fundamentally about enhancing the factors of productive capacity, such as land, labor, capital, and technology, of a national, state, or local economy, as stated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Economic development influences growth and restructuring of an economy to enhance economic well-being. We experience economic growth when our standard of living is rising. Rather than being a simplistic process, economic development typically is a range of influences aimed at achieving objectives like creating jobs and wealth and improving the quality of life. It incorporates coordinated initiatives targeted at expanding infrastructure and increasing the volume and/or quality of goods and services produced by a community. A common measure of economic development is a country’s gross national ...

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