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Culture and Institutions

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  • Tabellini, Guido

Abstract

How and why does distant political and economic history shape the functioning of current institutions? This paper argues that individual values and convictions about the scope of application of norms of good conduct provide the "missing link". Evidence from a variety of sources points to two main findings. First, individual values consistent with generalized (as opposed to limited) morality are widespread in societies that were ruled by non-despotic political institutions in the distant past. Second, well functioning institutions are often observed in countries or regions where individual values are consistent with generalized morality, and under different identifying assumptions this suggests a causal effect from values to institutional outcomes. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications for future research.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6589.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6589

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Related research

Keywords: culture; growth; institutions; political economics;

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Cited by:
  1. Corneo, Giacomo & Neher, Frank, 2012. "Income Inequality and Self-Reported Values," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 382, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Andrei Shleifer, 2009. "Regulation and Distrust," NBER Working Papers 14648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Arezki, Rabah & Cherif, Reda & Piotrowski, John, 2009. "Tourism Specialization and Economic Development: Evidence from the UNESCO World Heritage List," MPRA Paper 17132, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
  6. Miriam Bruhn & Francisco Gallego, 2008. "Good, Bad, and Ugly Colonial Activities: Studying Development Across the Americas," Documentos de Trabajo 334, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  7. M. de Castro Campos & Clemens Kool & J. Muysken, 2013. "Cross-Country Private Saving Heterogeneity and Culture," Working Papers 13-02, Utrecht School of Economics.

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