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Institutions and Culture

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  • Guido Tabellini

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

  • Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Institutions and Culture," Working Papers 330, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:330
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    Cited by:

    1. Comin, Diego & Mestieri, Martí, 2014. "Technology Diffusion: Measurement, Causes, and Consequences," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 2, pages 565-622 Elsevier.
    2. Donato Masciandaro & Paola Profeta & Davide Romelli, 2016. "Gender and Monetary Policymaking: Trends and Drivers," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1512, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    3. Lu, Yi & Png, Ivan P.L. & Tao, Zhigang, 2013. "Do institutions not matter in China? Evidence from manufacturing enterprises," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 74-90.
    4. Durante, Ruben & Labartino, Giovanna & Perotti, Roberto, 2011. "Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia," CEPR Discussion Papers 8645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Maridal, J. Haavard, 2013. "Cultural impact on national economic growth," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 136-146.
    6. Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2009. "Contract enforcement and family control of business: Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 597-609, December.
    7. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2013. "Unemployment Insurance And Cultural Transmission: Theory And Application To European Unemployment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(6), pages 1320-1347, December.
    8. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2011. "Civil Society And The State: The Interplay Between Cooperation And Minimum Wage Regulation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 3-42, February.
    9. Du, Julan & Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2012. "Contracting institutions and vertical integration: Evidence from China’s manufacturing firms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 89-107.
    10. Kumar, Krishna B. & Matsusaka, John G., 2009. "From families to formal contracts: An approach to development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 106-119, September.
    11. Dobler, Constanze, 2009. "The impact of institutions, culture, and religion on per capita income," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 28/2009, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.

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