March 4, 2016

The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence from the Kuba Kingdom

Dr. Nathan Nunn, Harvard University

Using variation in historical state centralization, Dr. Nunn uses his paper studying the Kuba Kingdom to examine the long-term impact of institutions on cultural norms. Beginning with a short history on the Kuba Kingdom, establishing in Central Africa in the early 17th century by King Shayaam, Dr. Nunn goes into detail on its developed state institutions in comparison to other independent villages and chieftaincies in the region. As the effectiveness of centralized formal institutions increases, there is a clear association with weaker norms of rule following and a greater propensity to cheat for material gain.

Nathan Nunn is is Frederic E. Abbe Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Professor Nunn was born in Canada, where he received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2005. Professor Nunn’s primary research interests are in economic history, economic development, cultural economics, political economy and international trade. He is an NBER Faculty Research Fellow, a Research Fellow at BREAD, and a Faculty Associate at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for

Check out his paper »