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Does Culture Cause Economic Development? A Reassessment of the Evidence from European Regions

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  • Jeremy Edwards

Abstract

This paper shows that Tabellini’s recent claim to have provided evidence that culture has a causal effect on economic development is unjustified. Tabellini’s claim is based on an instrumental variables analysis in which two instruments are used to identify the supposed causal effect. One of these – past literacy – is an invalid instrument. The other – past political institutions – is a weak instrument. The estimates obtained using this second instrument are so imprecise that they cannot be used to support any conclusions about the effect of culture on economic development.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-11/cesifo1_wp4015.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4015.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4015

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Related research

Keywords: culture; economic development; instrumental variables; weak instruments;

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  1. DUFOUR, Jean-Marie, 2003. "Identification, Weak Instruments and Statistical Inference in Econometrics," Cahiers de recherche 2003-12, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, 06.
  3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  4. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2003 02, Stata Users Group.
  5. DUFOUR, Jean-Marie, 2003. "Identification, Weak Instruments and Statistical Inference in Econometrics," Cahiers de recherche 10-2003, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  6. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman, 2003. "Weak Instruments: Diagnosis and Cures in Empirical Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 118-125, May.
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