Log in to access the full article.
Cultural explanations of economic phenomena have recently enjoyed a renaissance among economists. This article provides further evidence for the salience of culture through an in-depth case study of one of the fastest-growing economies in the world during the last 50 years–Botswana. The unique culture that developed among the Tswana before and during the early days of colonialism, which shared many features with those of western nation-states, appears to have contributed significantly to the factors widely seen as determinants of Botswana’s post-colonial economic success: state legitimacy, good governance and democracy, commercial traditions, well-established property rights, and inter-ethnic unity. Neighbouring Southern African cultures typically did not exhibit these traits.