Power Distance

on 27 October 2012
I learned something new today--a concept in cultural economics known as power distance. 

An influential Dutch researcher in cultural economics identified, in 1981, a cultural dimension he terms "power distance", defined as "the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally".
On PDI, scaled zero to one hundred, the U.S. scores 40 and China scores 80 (Russia scores 93).
Another dimension of significance is individualism, defined as "the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members".
On IDV the U.S. scores 91 and China 20 (Russia scores 39).
China (and Russia) value social cohesion along implicitly informative, i.e. highly contextual, information flows. Leaders are given tremendous leeway to do their jobs and are to be questioned only in cases of extreme breach of obligation, i.e. when they threaten social harmony.
Note that Russians, in surveys, explicitly prefer social stability to free speech and a free media. Chinese find the legalistic contortions American politicians have to go through to do something generally favoured as awkward and wasteful. We see allowing elites to enrich themselves off market reforms to help them buy into the idea of change as distasteful whereas from a social utilitarian perspective it's strategically kosher.
The next question that comes into my mind is, "Which countries have the lowest PDI?"

The answer, taken from ClearlyCultural.com: Austria--11, Israel--13, Demnark--18, New Zealand--22

I'd like to see (rather, I should create) a table that shows power distance, press freedom, corruption, etc. My guess is that we'd see the same global leaders (Austria, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Costa Rica), but it would still be an interesting exercise.