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Long lasting differences in civic capital: Evidence from a unique immigration event in Italy

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  • Bracco, E.
  • De Paola, M.
  • Green, C.P.

Abstract

A range of evidence exists demonstrating that social capital is associated with a number of important economic outcomes such as economic growth, trade and crime. A recent literature goes further to illustrate how historical events and variation can lead to the development of differing and consequential social norms. This paper examines the related questions of how persistent initial variations in social capital are, and the extent to which immigrant groups do or do not converge to the cultural and social norms of their recipient country by examining a unique and geographically concentrated immigration event in 16th century Italy. We demonstrate that despite the substantial time since migration these communities still display different behavior consistent with higher civic capital than other comparable Italian communities. Moreover, we demonstrate that this difference does not appear to have changed over the last 70 years. For instance, differences in voter turnout apparent in the late 1940s remain in the 21st century. This latter finding has implications for our view of the likelihood of assimilation of immigrant groups to local norms, particularly in cases of large-scale migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Bracco, E. & De Paola, M. & Green, C.P., 2015. "Long lasting differences in civic capital: Evidence from a unique immigration event in Italy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 160-173.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:120:y:2015:i:c:p:160-173
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.10.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Giampaolo Lecce & Laura Ogliari & Tommaso Orlando, 2017. "Resistance to Institutions and Cultural Distance: Brigandage in Post-Unification Italy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2097R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Dec 2017.
    2. repec:eee:ecolet:v:164:y:2018:i:c:p:117-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bracco, Emanuele, 2018. "A fine collection: The political budget cycle of traffic enforcement," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 117-120.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; Electoral turnout; Migration; Persistence;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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