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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

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
Email:
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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References

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  1. Grosfeld, Irena & Rodnyansky, Alexander & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2011. "Persistent anti-market culture: A legacy of the Pale of Settlement and of the Holocaust," CEPR Discussion Papers 8316, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Boschini, Anne & Pettersson, Jan & Roine, Jesper, 2003. "Resource curse or not: A question of appropriability," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 534, Stockholm School of Economics.
  3. Caselli, Francesco & Michaels, Guy, 2009. "Do Oil Windfalls Improve Living Standards? Evidence from Brazil," CEPR Discussion Papers 7579, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Brunnschweiler, Christa N., 2008. "Cursing the Blessings? Natural Resource Abundance, Institutions, and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 399-419, March.
  8. Ruben Durante, 2010. "Risk, Cooperation and the Economic origins of social Trust: an empirical Investigation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
  9. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Roland, Gérard, 2010. "Culture, Institutions and the Wealth of nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 8013, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Mathieu Couttenier, 2008. "Relationship Between Natural Resources and Institutions," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00332490, HAL.
  11. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
  14. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Silje Aslaksen, 2006. "Constitutions and the resource curse," Working Paper Series 7506, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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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