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Culture, Spatial Diffusion of Ideas and their Long-Lasting Imprints - Evidence from Froebel's Kindergarten Movement

  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Oliver Falck

We document the spatial diffusion of Friedrich Froebel’s radical invention of kindergartens in 19th-century Germany. The first kindergarten was founded at Froebel’s birthplace. Early spatial diffusion can be explained by cultural proximity, measured by historical dialect similarity, to Froebel’s birthplace. This result is robust to the inclusion of higher order polynomials in geographic distance and similarity measures with respect to industry, geography or religion. Our findings suggest that a common cultural basis facilitates the spill-over of ideas. We further show that the contemporaneous spatial pattern of child care coverage is still correlated with cultural similarity to Froebel’s place of birth.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2014/wp-cesifo-2014-04/cesifo1_wp4749.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4749.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4749
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  1. Stefan Bauernschuster & Martin Schlotter, 2013. "Public Child Care and Mothers' Labor Supply - Evidence from Two Quasi-Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 4191, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Comin, Diego & Dmitriev, Mikhail & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2012. "The Spatial Diffusion of Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 9208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens, 2012. "Why Are Educated and Risk-Loving Persons More Mobile Across Regions?," IZA Discussion Papers 6860, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
  5. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2005. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange," 2005 Meeting Papers 234, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Jeremiah E. Dittmar, 2011. "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of The Printing Press," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1133-1172.
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