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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. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/42, European University Institute.
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  14. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 747-793.
  15. Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2004. "Regional treatment intensity as an instrument for the evaluation of labour market policies," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-08, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
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  19. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
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  25. repec:hhs:iuiwop:557 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales & Luigi Guiso, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 11999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
  29. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  30. Oriol Aspachs-Bracons & Irma Clots-Figueras & Joan Costa-Font & Paolo Masella, 2008. "Compulsory Language Educational Policies and Identity Formation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 434-444, 04-05.
  31. Kolm, Ann-Sofie, 2005. "Work norms and unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 426-431, September.
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