Measuring country-to-country cultural distance through individual differences in values and its influence on the global trade
Table of contents
Measuring country-to-country cultural distance through individual differences in values and its influence on the global trade
Publication type
Sergey Shulgin 
Occupation: Deputy head of the international laboratory of political demography and macrosociological dynamics Ranepa
Affiliation: RANEPA
Address: Russian Federation
Andrey Korotayev
Occupation: head of the Laboratory of monitoring of risks of sociopolitical destabilization National Research University Higher School of Economics, leading researcher of the Institute of Oriental studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor FGP MSU
Affiliation: RANEPA
Address: Russian Federation
Aleksey Andreev
Occupation: vice-dean, Faculty of Global Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State Universtity
Affiliation: Moscow State University Mv Lomonosov
Address: Russian Federation, Мoscow, 119992 Moscow Leninskie Gory, house 1 building 13
Yu. Zinkina
Occupation: Senior Researcher, International Laboratory o Demography and Human Capital, RANEPA
Affiliation: RANEPA
Address: Russian Federation
The paper proposes a method for measuring the country-to-country cultural distance. This method is based on the analysis of the differences in values of individuals residing in these countries. These differences are assessed through an innovative ensemble of five metrics (Mahalanobis distance, Euclidean distance, L-distance, as well as normalized versions of Euclidean and L-distances), – the MELNN ensemble, compiled through factor analysis. For each individual we find “neighbors in values”, i.e. other individuals with possibly closest MELNN scores. We proceed to build a network interaction model on the basis of MELNN scores so that we could differentiate between the “neighbors in values” of different orders (direct neighbors, neighbors’ neighbors etc.). Analyzing the closeness of each individual from any single country to the individuals from different countries eventually allows to define the cultural distance between these countries. We use the obtained values of country-to-country cultural distances in a gravity model, where they prove it to be a significant factor influencing the structure of bilateral trade.
global trade; values; world value survey; cultural distance; neighbors in values; metrics ensemble; MELNN; Mahalanobis distance; Euclidean distance; L-distance; gravity model
Date of publication
Number of purchasers
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
Cite Download pdf 1 RUB / 0.0 SU

To download PDF you should sign in

1 Здесь будет онлайн-версия статьи. Благодарим за терпение!


1. Butaeva K.O., Veber Sh., Davydov D.V. (2016). Yazyk, kul'tura, migratsiya, konflikty: ehkonomicheskaya proektsiya // Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 6: Ehkonomika. № 1. S. 3–21.

2. Veber Sh., Gabzhevich D., Ginzburg A.I., Ginzburg V., Savvateev A.V., Filatov A.Yu. (2009). Yazykovoe raznoobrazie i ego vliyanie na ehkonomicheskie i politicheskie resheniya // Zhurnal Novoj ehkonomicheskoj assotsiatsii. № 3–4. S. 28–53.

3. Zin'kina Yu.V., Shul'gin S.G., Korotaev A.V. (2016). Ehvolyutsiya global'nykh setej: zakonomernosti, tendentsii, modeli. M.: Lenand.

4. Anderson J.E. (1979). A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation // The American Economic Review. Vol. 69. No. 1. P. 106–116.

5. Bergstrand J.H. (1985). The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence // The Review of Economics and Statistics. Vol. 67. No. 3. P. 474–481.

6. Bergstrand J.H. (1989). The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade // The Review of Economics and Statistics. Vol. 71. No. 1. P. 143–153.

7. Cyrus T.L. (2012). Cultural Distance and Bilateral Trade // Global Economy Journal. Vol. 12. No. 4. R. 1–25.

8. Deardorff A.V. (2014). Local Comparative Advantage: Trade Costs and the Pattern of Trade // International Journal of Economic Theory. Vol. 10. No. 1. P. 9–35.

9. Desmet K., Weber S., Ortuño-Ortín, I. (2009), Linguistic Diversity and Redistribution // Journal of the European Economic Association. Vol. 7. P. 1291–1318.

10. Dijkstra E.W. (1959). A Note on Two Problems in Connection with Graphs // Numerische Mathematik. Vol. 1.P. 269–271.

11. Drogendijk R., Slangen A. (2006). Hofstede, Schwartz, or Managerial Perceptions? The Effects of Different Cultural Distance Measures on Establishment Mode Choices by Multinational Enterprises // International business review. Vol. 15. No. 4. P. 361–380.

12. Eaton J., Tamura A. (1994). Bilateralism and Regionalism in Japanese and US Trade and Direct Foreign Investment// The Journal of the Japanese and International Economies. Vol. 8. No. 4. P. 478–510.

13. Grafarend E.W. (2006). Linear and Nonlinear Models: Fixed Effects, Random Effects, and Mixed Models. Berlin,New York: Walter de Gruyter.

14. Hijmans R.J. (2015). Geosphere: Spherical Trigonometry. R Package version 1.4–3. [Ehlektronnyj resurs]. Rezhim dostupa:, svobodnyj. Zagl. s ehkrana. Yaz. angl. (data obrascheniya: 20.06.2016 g.).

15. Huber P.J. (1981). Robust Statistics. New York: Wiley.

16. Kaasa A., Vadi M., Varblane U. (2016). A New Dataset of Cultural Distances for European Countries and Regions //Research in International Business and Finance. Vol. 37. P. 231–241.

17. Kandogan Y. (2012). An Improvement to Kogut and Singh Measure of Cultural Distance Considering the Relationship Among Different Dimensions of Culture // Research in International Business and Finance. Vol. 26. No. 2.P. 196–203.

18. Kirkman B.L., Lowe K.B., Gibson C.B. (2006). A Quarter Century of Culture’s Consequences: a Review of EmpiricalResearch Incorporating Hofstede’s Cultural Values Framework // Journal of International Business Studies. Vol. 37. No. 3. P. 285–320.

19. Santis G. de, Maltagliati, M., Salvini, S. (2014). How Close? An Attempt at Measuring the Cultural Distance between Countries. Working Papers. Institute of Statistics and Demography Warsaw School of Economics.

20. Shenkar O. (2001). Cultural distance revisited: Towards a more rigorous conceptualization and measurement of cultural differences // Journal of International Business Studies. Vol. 32. No. 3. P. 519–535.

21. Tadesse B., White R. (2010). Does Cultural Distance Hinder Trade in Goods? A Comparative Study of Nine OECD Member Nations // Open Economies Review. Vol. 21. No. 2. P. 237–261.

22. Thomson G.H. (1951). The Factorial Analysis of Human Ability. London: London University Press.

23. Tinbergen J. (1962). Shaping the World Economy; Suggestions for an International Economic Policy. New York:Twentieth Century Fund.

24. VanDerWal J., Falconi L., Januchowski S., Shoo L., Storlie C. (2014). SDM-Tools: Species Distribution Modelling Tools: Tools for Processing Data Associated with Species Distribution Modelling Exercises. R package version 1.1–221. [Ehlektronnyj resurs]. Rezhim dostupa:, svobodnyj. Zagl. s ehkrana. Yaz. angl. (data obrascheniya: 07.07.2016 g.).

25. Venables W.N., Ripley B.D. (2002). Modern Applied Statistics with S. Fourth Edition. New York: Springer.