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5 Conclusions

Consistent with qualitative HD theory and empirical reality, our HDD model finds complexity and nonlinear path dependence in three areas: adaptive development processes, social co-evolutionary transactions and near equilibrium development trajectories. From a complex adaptive system perspective on HD theoretical processes, economic progress is a necessary condition for successful secularization and expressive political behavior, which are antecedents for lasting democratic institutions. While modernization is not inevitable, our results support empirical observations for a staged process where increasing existential security via economic development leads to increased emphasis on rational-secular and self-expressive values that results in societal development. Here we find that rational-secular norms strongly impact economic growth and speed up the pace of development more than self-expressive societal values alone. Beyond supporting HD theory, agents do adapt interactively with their environments as mutual cooperation does result in higher societal wealth than defection alone and is self reinforcing over time.

While only an initial, rough approximation at the truly complex, interdependent and highly nonlinear nature of modernization, our HDD approach provides insights into the interactivity of individual agency and societal outcomes seen through the lens of evolutionary games. Perhaps techno-social simulations like HDD can assist policy makers and scholar alike, to better understand, anticipate and shape positive social outcomes for all.

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