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Culture, Spatial Diffusion of Ideas and their Long-Lasting Imprints - Evidence from Froebel's Kindergarten Movement

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  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Oliver Falck

Abstract

We document the spatial diffusion of Friedrich Froebel’s radical invention of kindergartens in 19th-century Germany. The first kindergarten was founded at Froebel’s birthplace. Early spatial diffusion can be explained by cultural proximity, measured by historical dialect similarity, to Froebel’s birthplace. This result is robust to the inclusion of higher order polynomials in geographic distance and similarity measures with respect to industry, geography or religion. Our findings suggest that a common cultural basis facilitates the spill-over of ideas. We further show that the contemporaneous spatial pattern of child care coverage is still correlated with cultural similarity to Froebel’s place of birth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4749.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4749

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Keywords: culture; spatial diffusion; public child care;

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  1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/42, European University Institute.
  2. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "Why Are Educated and Risk-Loving Persons More Mobile across Regions?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 522, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Diego A. Comin & Mikhail Dmitriev & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2012. "The Spatial Diffusion of Technology," NBER Working Papers 18534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stefan Bauernschuster & Martin Schlotter, 2013. "Public Child Care and Mothers' Labor Supply - Evidence from Two Quasi-Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 4191, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jeremiah E. Dittmar, 2011. "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of The Printing Press," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1133-1172.
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