Why are some countries are so much more successful than others? People have been grappling with this question at least as far back as Plato. Now Dr. David C. Rose, professor of economics, will explore the differential success of societies over the course of human history in his new book, "Why Culture Matters Most."

The work is supported by a $130,000 grant from the John R. Templeton Foundation and will be published by Oxford University Press.

Rose argues why culture – not genes, geography, institutions, or policies – is key to maximizing general prosperity and freedom and to understanding the rise and fall of societies over the course of human history.

“I am now convinced that culture – and only culture – can address the most fundamental of all obstacles to human flourishing and advancement: the problem of individual self-interest undermining the common good,” Rose said.

Rose hopes the book will provide a new framework for social capital theory, economic history and economic development policy. "Why Culture Matters Most" will offer a number of testable implications for economic experiments.

Rose plans to finish this work by mid-2015.

David Rose
Dr. Rose is a professor of economics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has served as the department director of graduate studies and as department chair. He received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1987 from the University of Virginia. His primary areas of research include behavioral economics, organization theory, and political economy. He has published numerous scholarly articles in a wide range of areas along with his recent book, "The Moral Foundation of Economic Behavior" (Oxford University Press, Nov. 2011). He frequently contributes to policy debates through radio and television interviews as well as in Op-Eds in outlets like the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Word on Business, The School Choice Advocate, Forbes, The Washington Times, and The Christian Science Monitor on topics ranging from social security, monetary policy, fiscal policy, judicial philosophy, education reform, and healthcare reform.