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Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances

Author

Listed:
  • Giuliano, Paola

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Spilimbergo, Antonio

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Tonon, Giovanni

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

This paper investigates how the measures of genetic distance between populations, which have been used in anthropology and historical linguistics, can be used in economics. What does the correlation between genetic distance and economic variables mean? Using the measure of genetic distance, a newly-collected database on transport costs, as well as more refined measures of geography within Europe, we show that i) geography explains both genetic distance and transportation costs between European countries, and ii) genetic distance does not explain economic outcomes once we control for geography. We conclude that genetic distance in economics capture transportation costs between countries and not cultural differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio & Tonon, Giovanni, 2006. "Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances," IZA Discussion Papers 2229, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2229
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    transport costs; genetics; trade; geography;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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