Different national cultures are reflected in Wikipedia editor behavior. In a hierarchical culture like Japan, there are a few senior Wikipedia editors who keep a tight rein on who is allowed to edit articles. In a more egalitarian culture like Sweden, a much higher percentage of active Wikipedia editors obtain the coveted Wikipedia Admin status.
In this project we find a relationship between intrasocial capital of countries and the structure of the Wikipedias of the matching European languages. In the context of the current economic crisis we compare success of an economy with the Wikipedia editor behavior of the corresponding country. The German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch, Greek, Swedish, and Finnish languages are predominantly spoken in just the mother country, allowing for a one-to-one mapping between Wikipedia in that language and economy of the mother country. We obtained different metrics reflecting Wikipedia structure for each of these languages on July 5, 2012: total number of articles, total number of edits, the number of all users, and the number of active users (i.e. editors who have performed an edit in the last 30 days).
Regressing the total number of Wikipedia articles (wikinorm), total number of edits (weditnorm), number of all users (wusernorm), and number of active users (wausernorm) against the dependent variable “corruption” leads to an adjusted R2 of 0.91 with the only predictor “wausernorm”. The same regression for the dependent variable CDS_rate leads to an adjusted R2 of 0.53 with the only predictor “wausernorm”. This means that 91% of the corruption in a country can be explained with the number of active Wikipedia editors. Similarly, 53% of the CDS rate of the country can be explained by the number of active Wikipedia editors. The key insight is as surprising as it is flattering for the most active Wikipedia editors: the higher the proportion of active Wikipedia editors in a country is, the less corrupt and the more financially stable is the country. This also leads to a clear recommendation for politicians: motivate your compatriots to become active Wikipedia editors!