How Would Your Kids Vote if I Open my Doors? Evidence from Venezuela
AbstractFor how long does cultural heritage persist? Do the culturally inherited values of immigrants dilute as generations pass? We answer these question by studying the relationship between revealed political behavior of immigrant families and the culture of the place where they migrated from, either one or many generations ago. Using surnames as indicators of region of origin of Italians in Venezuela, we study the effect of cultural heritage on two indicators of revealed political behavior: (i) propensity for civic engagement, and (ii) propensity for redistribution. A well established literature documents greater propensity for civic engagement and lower propensity for redistribution among Northern Italians. In Venezuela, we measure the former by turnout before the era of political polarization and the latter by signing behavior against Hugo Chávez in the 2004 recall referendum drive. Despite the fact that the wave of Italian immigration to Venezuela occurred more than half a century before the events studied in this paper, we do not find a greater propensity for civic engagement nor preference against redistribution among descendants from Northern as opposed to Southern Italians, suggesting that cultural assimilation may be a strong determinant of political behavior in the long run.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its series Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) with number HDRP-2009-40.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision: Aug 2009
Publication status: Published as background research for the 2009 Human Development Report.
Social capital; political incorporation of immigrants; family economics; redistribution; political preferences; civic engagement; Latin America;
Other versions of this item:
- Rodriguez, Francisco & Wagner, Rodrigo, 2009. "How Would your Kids Vote if I Open my Doors? Evidence from Venezuela," MPRA Paper 19223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
- F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
- P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-05-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2010-05-02 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-MIG-2010-05-02 (Economics of Human Migration)
- NEP-POL-2010-05-02 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2010-05-02 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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