Generalized morality reflects ethical norms in society about the inappropriateness of behaviors that can cause harm to others. Generalized morality may be an important factor affecting the economic performance of countries. A measure of generalized morality is constructed from data from the World Values Survey. One question examined is whether generalized morality is correlated with economic growth rates in per capita GDP across a sample of countries, controlling for institutions and other factors expected to affect economic performance. A second question examined is whether the path by which generalized morality affects growth is direct or indirect through generalized trust. The findings reveal that generalized morality is correlated with economic growth, but its effect is manifested primarily through generalized trust when economic institutions are weak.
I am glad to see papers like this one, and the topic remains under-researched. Great insights can be found in David Hume.