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Family Types and the Persistence of Regional Disparities in Europe

  • Gilles Duranton

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

    (London School of Economics, College of Europe)

  • Richard Sandall

This paper examines the association between one of the most basic institutional forms, the family, and a series of demographic, educational, social, and economic indicators across regions in Europe. Using Emmanuel Todd’s classification of medieval European family systems, we identify potential links between family types and regional disparities in household size, educational attainment, social capital, labour participation, sectoral structure, wealth, and inequality. The results indicate that medieval family structures seem to have influenced European regional disparities in virtually every indicator considered. That these links remain, despite the influence of the modern state and population migration, suggests that either such structures are extremely resilient or else they have in the past been internalised within other social and economic institutions as they developed.

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Paper provided by European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe in its series Bruges European Economic Research Papers with number 10.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:coe:wpbeer:10
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dijver 11, B-8000 Brugge
Web page: http://www.coleurope.eu
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  1. Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Culture and Institutions: economic development in the regions of Europe," Working Papers 292, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Andres RodrIguez-Pose & Ugo Fratesi†, 2004. "Between Development and Social Policies: The Impact of European Structural Funds in Objective 1 Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 97-113.
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  9. Avner Greif, 2006. "Family Structure, Institutions, and Growth: The Origins and Implications of Western Corporations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 308-312, May.
  10. Binmore, Ken, 2005. "Natural Justice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195178111, March.
  11. Andres Rodriguez-Pose & Michael Storper, 2006. "Better Rules or Stronger Communities? On the Social Foundations of Institutional Change and Its Economic Effects," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/f0uohitsgqh, Sciences Po.
  12. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot : Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," DELTA Working Papers 1999-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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