Global Interplays of Values, Wealth, and Geography

I wrote a research paper for my course in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I had a blast writing it, and there was plenty of Stata and ArcGIS play to be done. I’m posting a download link here, in case anyone is as excited about this kind of stuff as I am.

Summary:

  • It’s true that distance to the equator is a good predictor of wealth. It predicts 28% of the variance in per-capita GDP! This was a satisfying result — highly significant.
  • We can do similar studies with measures of cultural values. It seems that many values also change similarly with geography.
  • Using four fairly arbitrarily selected values as regressors, about two thirds of the variance in per-capita income can be predicted. This was really surprising to me, and it seems like there’s a lot of similar work to be done here regarding mapping and cultural values.