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Institutions and Culture

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  • Guido Tabellini

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 IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 330.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:330

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Cited by:
  1. Yi, Lu & Zhigang, Tao, 2009. "Contract Enforcement and Family Control of Business: Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 18209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Dobler, Constanze, 2009. "The impact of institutions, culture, and religion on per capita income," Violette Reihe Arbeitspapiere 28/2009, Promotionsschwerpunkt "Globalisierung und Beschaeftigung".
  3. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2013. "Unemployment Insurance And Cultural Transmission: Theory And Application To European Unemployment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(6), pages 1320-1347, December.
  4. Comin, Diego & Mestieri, Marti, 2013. "Technology Diffusion:Measurement, Causes and Consequences," TSE Working Papers 13-420, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  5. Ruben Durante & Giovanna Labartino & Roberto Perotti, 2011. "Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia," NBER Working Papers 17572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kumar, Krishna B. & Matsusaka, John G., 2009. "From families to formal contracts: An approach to development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 106-119, September.
  7. Lu, Yi & Png, Ivan P.L. & Tao, Zhigang, 2013. "Do institutions not matter in China? Evidence from manufacturing enterprises," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 74-90.
  8. Maridal, J. Haavard, 2013. "Cultural impact on national economic growth," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 136-146.
  9. Du, Julan & Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2012. "Contracting institutions and vertical integration: Evidence from China’s manufacturing firms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 89-107.
  10. Cahuc, Pierre & Algan, Yann & Aghion, Philippe, 2009. "Civil Society and the State: The Interplay between Cooperation and Minimum Wage Regulation," Scholarly Articles 3226957, Harvard University Department of Economics.

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