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Studies on Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences – Volume 3

Edited By Rasim Yilmaz and Günther Löschnigg

The third volume of «Studies on Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences» is a collection of empirical and theoretical research papers in the social sciences regarding the Balkans and the Near East written by researchers from several different universities and institutions. The book addresses economic, financial, political, sociological, international relations, health, cultural, and feminist issues in the region of the Balkan and Near East. The book is aimed at educators, researchers, and students interested in the Balkan and Near Eastern countries.

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Tolerance Matters for the Prosperity of Nations

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Introduction

When we look at the developments in world history, it is observed that openness to differences and respecting for diversity attitudes of some societies play an important role in their economic development. There are very few studies on the effect of tolerance, which is measured as a positive attitude towards differences, on economic welfare. For example, Corneo and Jeanne (2009) provided a useful theoretical contribution to the understanding of tolerance by developing a theoretical framework as such lifestyles and personality traits are values that symbolize the individual. There are empirical studies that argue that cultural diversity and openness (tolerance) have a positive effect on innovations and thus economic development. The strongest support for the relationship between cultural openness and economic growth is provided by the studies of Inglehart (1989, 1997). In his other studies, he argued that different lifestyles were not welcomed and countries that did not favor a woman’s work tend to remain economically backward and ruled by authoritarian regimes (Inglehart and Baker, 2000; Inglehart and Welzel, 2005). Similarly, Florida (2002a and 2003) proposes a hypothesis that regions that welcome differences and are more culturally diverse have an advantage for attracting talented and creative people who are the engine of innovation and economic growth. Mokyr (1990: 12), in his historical research on technological progress, claims that even innovation requires diversity and tolerance.

Based on the thesis of Florida (2003), in this study tolerance is defined as openness, inclusiveness, and diversity to different...

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