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Does Culture Matter?


  • Fernández, Raquel


This paper reviews the literature on culture and economics, focusing primarily on the epidemiological approach. The epidemiological approach studies the variation in outcomes across different immigrant groups residing in the same country. Immigrants presumably differ in their cultures but share a common institutional and economic environment. This allows one to separate the effect of culture from the original economic and institutional environment. This approach has been used to study a variety of issues, including female labor force participation, fertility, labor market regulation, redistribution, growth, and financial development among others.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernández, Raquel, 2010. "Does Culture Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7965

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-1095, December.
    2. Chuah, Swee-Hoon & Hoffmann, Robert & Jones, Martin & Williams, Geoffrey, 2007. "Do cultures clash? Evidence from cross-national ultimatum game experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-48, September.
    3. Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Monica Singhal, 2011. "Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 157-179, February.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2008. "Can Policy Interact with Culture? Minimum Wage and the Quality of Labor Relations," Working Papers hal-00972820, HAL.
    5. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2014. "From Shame To Game In One Hundred Years: An Economic Model Of The Rise In Premarital Sex And Its De-Stigmatization," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 25-61, February.
    6. Paola Giuliano, 2007. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 927-952, September.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Paola Giuliano, 2015. "Family Values And The Regulation Of Labor," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 599-630, August.
    8. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Working Papers 2096, The Field Experiments Website.
    9. Cipriani, Marco & Giuliano, Paola & Jeanne, Olivier, 2013. "Like mother like son? Experimental evidence on the transmission of values from parents to children," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 100-111.
    10. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2005. "Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions, or Minorities?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 922-948, December.
    11. Antecol, Heather, 2000. "An examination of cross-country differences in the gender gap in labor force participation rates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 409-426, July.
    12. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2013. "Trust and Growth," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 521-549, May.
    13. Hessel Oosterbeek & Randolph Sloof & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2004. "Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 171-188, June.
    14. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman, 1992. "Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number borj92-1, January.
    15. Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2009. "Growing Up in a Recession: Beliefs and the Macroeconomy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7399, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
    17. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-950, October.
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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. Ljunge, Martin, 2012. "Cultural transmission of civicness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 291-294.
    3. Giuseppe Albanese & Guido Blasio & Paolo Sestito, 2016. "My parents taught Me. Evidence on the family transmission of values," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 571-592, April.
    4. Kessler, Anke & Milligan, Kevin, 2017. "Acculturation, Education, and Gender Roles: Evidence from Canada," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168299, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Fernández, Raquel & Wong, Joyce Cheng, 2011. "The Disappearing Gender Gap: The Impact of Divorce, Wages, and Preferences on Education Choices and Women's Work," IZA Discussion Papers 6046, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. repec:aia:ginidp:dp17 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Alders, Peter & Costa-Font, Joan & de Klerk, Mirjam & Frank, Richard, 2015. "What is the impact of policy differences on nursing home utilization? The cases of Germany and the Netherlands," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(6), pages 814-820.
    8. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2014. "Trust, Growth, and Well-Being: New Evidence and Policy Implications," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 2, pages 49-120 Elsevier.
    9. Ljunge, Martin, 2014. "Social capital and political institutions: Evidence that democracy fosters trust," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 44-49.
    10. Kok, Suzanne & Bosch, Nicole & Deelen, Anja & Euwals, Rob, 2011. "Migrant Women on the Labour Market: On the Role of Home- and Host-Country Participation," IZA Discussion Papers 5817, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Campaña, Juan Carlos & Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto, 2015. "Gender differences in the distribution of total work-time of Latin- American families: the importance of social norms," MPRA Paper 62759, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Giacomo Corneo, 2011. "GINI DP 17: Income Inequality, Value Systems and Macroeconomic Performance," GINI Discussion Papers 17, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    13. Bazzi, Samuel & Fiszbein, Martin & Gebresilasse, Mesay, 2017. "Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of Rugged Individualism in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 12406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2014. "Trust, Well-Being and Growth: New Evidence and Policy Implications," Post-Print hal-01169659, HAL.
    15. Ljunge, Martin, 2016. "Migrants, health, and happiness: Evidence that health assessments travel with migrants and predict well-being," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 35-46.
    16. Breuer, Janice Boucher & McDermott, John, 2013. "Respect, responsibility, and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 36-47.
    17. Klasing, Mariko J., 2014. "Cultural change, risk-taking behavior and implications for economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 158-169.
    18. Klasing, Mariko J., 2013. "Cultural dimensions, collective values and their importance for institutions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 447-467.
    19. Ljunge, Martin, 2014. "Trust issues: Evidence on the intergenerational trust transmission among children of immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 175-196.
    20. Raquel Fernández & Joyce Cheng Wong, 2011. "The Disappearing Gender Gap: The Impact of Divorce, Wages, and Preferences on Education Choices and Women's Work," NBER Working Papers 17508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Fernández, Raquel & Wong, Joyce Cheng, 2011. "The Disappearing Gender Gap: The Impact of Divorce, Wages, and Preferences on Education Choices and Women's Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 8627, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Williamson, Claudia R., 2012. "Dignity and development," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 763-771.

    More about this item


    Beliefs; Culture; Norms; Preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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