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Does Culture Affect Unemployment? Evidence from the Röstigraben

  • Brügger, Beatrix
  • Lalive, Rafael
  • Zweimüller, Josef

This paper studies the role of culture in shaping unemployment outcomes. The empirical analysis is based on local comparisons across a language barrier in Switzerland. This Röstigraben seperates cultural groups, but neither labor markets nor political jurisdictions. Local contrasts across the language border identify the role of culture for unemployment. Our findings indicate that differences in culture explain differences in unemployment duration on the order of 20 %. Moreover, we find that horizontal transmission of culture is more important than vertical transmission of culture and that culture is about as important as strong changes to the benefit duration.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7405.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7405
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  1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörg Weibull, 2003. "Social Norms and Welfare State Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 931, CESifo Group Munich.
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  27. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 2741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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