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Culture and Institutions

Author

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  • Tabellini, Guido

Abstract

How and why does distant political and economic history shape the functioning of current institutions? This paper argues that individual values and convictions about the scope of application of norms of good conduct provide the "missing link". Evidence from a variety of sources points to two main findings. First, individual values consistent with generalized (as opposed to limited) morality are widespread in societies that were ruled by non-despotic political institutions in the distant past. Second, well functioning institutions are often observed in countries or regions where individual values are consistent with generalized morality, and under different identifying assumptions this suggests a causal effect from values to institutional outcomes. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Tabellini, Guido, 2007. "Culture and Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6589
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. M. Castro Campos & C. Kool & J. Muysken, 2013. "Cross-Country Private Saving Heterogeneity and Culture," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(2), pages 101-120, June.
    2. Debora Di Gioacchino & Alina Verashchagina, 2017. "Mass media and attitudes to inequality," Working Papers 178, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Regulation and Distrust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1015-1049.
    4. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
    5. Giacomo Corneo & Frank Neher, 2014. "Income inequality and self-reported values," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(1), pages 49-71, March.
    6. Arezki, Rabah & Cherif, Reda & Piotrowski, John, 2009. "Tourism Specialization and Economic Development: Evidence from the UNESCO World Heritage List," MPRA Paper 17132, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Bruhn, Miriam & Gallego, Francisco A., 2008. "Good, bad, and ugly colonial activities : studying development across the Americas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4641, The World Bank.
    8. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8883 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 6824, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    culture; growth; institutions; political economics;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General

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