Public Choice

, Volume 150, Issue 3–4, pp 469–498

The spirits of capitalism and socialism

A cross-country study of ideology

DOI: 10.1007/s11127-010-9711-9

Cite this article as:
Bjørnskov, C. & Paldam, M. Public Choice (2012) 150: 469. doi:10.1007/s11127-010-9711-9


The World Values Survey contains an item on ownership which is polled 200 times in 92 countries at the four waves of 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005. These polls are developed into the CS-score that measures the aggregate mass support for capitalism and socialism. Four hypotheses are advanced and tested to explain the wide variation in the 200 CS-scores. It is due to: the cross-country distribution of income, and consequently the West stands out as the most capitalist-minded area of the world; institutions of the country such as legal quality; the left-right dimension in politics; and cultural differences.


Property rights Ideology Institutions 

JEL Classification

O43 P14 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Aarhus School of BusinessAarhus UniversityAabyhøjDenmark
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark

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