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Living in the Garden of Eden: Mineral Resources Foster Individualism

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  • Mathieu Couttenier
  • Marc Sangnier

Abstract

This paper documents a positive relationship between mineral resources abundance and individualistic values in the United States. We refer to "individualism" as the set of values opposed to public intervention in income allocation and favorable to individual selfresponsibility. We show that individuals living in states with large mineral resources endowment are more individualistic. We take advantage of both the spatial and the temporal distributions of mineral discoveries since 1800 to uncover two channels. The experience channel arises because of direct observation of discoveries by individuals. The transmission channel consists in the persistence of specific values across generations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 12.05.

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Length: 37 pp. + figures and tables
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:12.05

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Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
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Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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Keywords: individualism; redistribution; mineral resources; persistence;

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  9. Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2009. "Growing Up in a Recession: Beliefs and the Macroeconomy," IZA Discussion Papers 4365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Pauline Grosjean, 2011. "A History of Violence: The Culture of Honor as a Determinant of Homicide in the US South," Discussion Papers 2011-13, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  11. Anne D. Boschini & Jan Pettersson & Jesper Roine, 2006. "Resource curse or not: A question of appropriability," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_050, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  12. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Roland, Gérard, 2010. "Culture, Institutions and the Wealth of nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 8013, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Durante, Ruben, 2009. "Risk, Cooperation and the Economic Origins of Social Trust: an Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 25887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Mathieu Couttenier, 2008. "Relationship between natural resources and institutions," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne bla08060, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  15. Rafael Di Tella & Juan Dubra & Robert MacCulloch, 2008. "A Resource Belief-Curse? Oil and Individualism," NBER Working Papers 14556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Papyrakis, Elissaios & Gerlagh, Reyer, 2007. "Resource abundance and economic growth in the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 1011-1039, May.
  17. Jonathan Isham & Michael Woolcock & Lant Pritchett & Gwen Busby, 2005. "The Varieties of Resource Experience: Natural Resource Export Structures and the Political Economy of Economic Growth," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-174.
  18. Aragon, Fernando & Rud, Juan, 2009. "The Blessing of Natural Resources: Evidence from a Peruvian Gold Mine," Working Papers 2009-014, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
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