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Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Jun 16;49(12):7134-41. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01039. Epub 2015 May 29.

Cultured construction: global evidence of the impact of national values on sanitation infrastructure choice.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, 201 More Hall, Seattle, Washington 98195, United States.


Case study research often claims culture-variously defined-impacts infrastructure development. I test this claim using Hofstede's cultural dimensions and newly available data representing change in national coverage of sewer connections, sewerage treatment, and onsite sanitation between 1990 and 2010 for 21 developing nations. The results show that the cultural dimensions of uncertainty avoidance, masculinity-femininity, and individualism-collectivism have statistically significant relationships to sanitation technology choice. These data prove the global impact of culture on infrastructure choice, and reemphasize that local cultural preferences must be considered when constructing sanitation infrastructure.

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