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Is there a spirit of overseas Chinese capitalism?

Chuah, Swee Hoon; Hoffmann, Robert; Ramasamy, B.; Tan, Jonathan H.W.


Swee Hoon Chuah

Robert Hoffmann

B. Ramasamy

Jonathan H.W. Tan


The economic miracle of the Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia has been attributed to their unique economic culture forged from Confucian thought and the emigration experience. However, this Spirit of Overseas Chinese Capitalism (SOCC) hypothesis, based largely on qualitative research, has not been validated through quantitative work. This paper provides, for the first time, empirical evidence from a values survey and experiment which show that only some of the hypothesised SOCC values and behaviours differentiate the Chinese from less economically successful ethnic groups in Malaysia. While we find no evidence that Confucian values explain the success of the Overseas Chinese we do find it may lie in their (a) more conductive work values and (b) greater intra-ethnic cooperativeness, both accentuated by the emigration experience.


Chuah, S. H., Hoffmann, R., Ramasamy, B., & Tan, J. H. (in press). Is there a spirit of overseas Chinese capitalism?. Small Business Economics,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 19, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 4, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 8, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2016
Journal Small Business Economics
Print ISSN 0921-898X
Electronic ISSN 1573-0913
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Chinese Diaspora Cultural values Family businesses Enterprise Questionnaire Experiment
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information The final publication is available at Springer via


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