The crucial role of human values for the prosperity of individuals and societies

Hard work, thrift and trust all make a difference


Credit: World Scientific

Why has Japan gone through multiple lost decades? Why do Nordic countries accept the highest tax rates in the world, making their societies much more equal? Why does China have such a large trade surplus with the United States? Why do some nations become stuck in a middle-income trap? Those questions can only be answered by taking into account the human values that define our societies.

The way people around the world think and behave is guided by a complex system of values, deeply rooted into each of us. Most of us feel that we belong to a group–whether it is a nation, a community, a family, a social class, an ethnicity, a town, or a religion. People share many of the same values within the group they belong to and tend to transmit those values from one generation to the next.

In Values At The Core, building on their extensive knowledge of cultural differences across the world, Grandjean and Tan begin by defining what values are and why they have too often been neglected. The authors then discuss those values that shape economic outcomes, not just in terms of wealth creation but also in the way that wealth is distributed. Policies feature prominently, such as the idea that political stability is more conducive to growth than any specific form of government or how countries where people do not trust each other should not attempt to reduce inequalities by increasing taxes, as this will only result in more corruption. We hope this book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of how economies really work.

This highly readable book will be of interest to anyone who seeks to better understand why some countries become wealthier than others; it should also be of interest to policymakers by emphasizing the need to consider the collective values of their citizens to assess the effectiveness of their policies.

Values At The Core: How Human Values Contribute to the Rise of Nations retails for US$28 / £25 (paperback) and US$58 / £50 (hardcover) and is also available in electronic formats. To order or know more about the book, visit


About the Authors

ChinHwee Tan is the Asia-Pacific CEO of a global Fortune 25 company and was previously the founding Asia partner of the top 3 largest alternatives investors in the world. He is a part of the special Taskforce appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office to re-configure Singapore’s economy, and sits on various private and public boards and committees including the Monetary Authority of Singapore. ChinHwee co-wrote the best-selling Asian Financial Statement Analysis: Detecting Financial Irregularities, which was published in English and Chinese, and does pro bono cases for regulators across the globe. He is a chartered financial analyst and chartered accountant, and fought the battle to have the words “for the benefit of society” included in the charter as president of CFA Singapore. Engaging in social work since his university days with his wife, he enjoys spending time with his three children.

Thomas Grandjean has worked in the commodities sector for the past 15 years. He graduated with a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and is a CFA charter holder. He has lived in the Middle East, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland, and currently resides in Singapore.

About World Scientific Publishing Co.

World Scientific Publishing is a leading international independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research and professional communities. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organisations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. The company publishes about 600 books and over 140 journals in various fields annually. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit

For more information, contact Amanda at [email protected]

Media Contact
Amanda Yun
[email protected]

Original Source