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Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances

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  • 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2229
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Melitz, Jacques & Toubal, Farid, 2014. "Native language, spoken language, translation and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 351-363.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 101-138, June.
    3. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
    4. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Lameli, Alfred & Südekum, Jens, 2012. "Dialects, cultural identity, and economic exchange," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 225-239.
    6. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Gerard Roland, 2017. "Culture, Institutions, and the Wealth of Nations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 402-416, July.
    7. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Toubal, Farid, 2010. "Cultural proximity and trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 279-293, February.
    8. Desmet, Klaus & Le Breton, Michel & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 2006. "Nation Formation and Genetic Diversity," IDEI Working Papers 133, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    9. Ani Harutyunyan & Omer Ozak, 2016. "Culture, Diffusion, and Economic Development," LICOS Discussion Papers 38216, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    10. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1095-1131.
    11. Campbell, Douglas L. & Pyun, Ju Hyun, 2011. "The Diffusion of Development: Along Genetic or Geographic Lines?," MPRA Paper 35178, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
    13. Klaus Desmet & Michel Breton & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2011. "The stability and breakup of nations: a quantitative analysis," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 183-213, September.
    14. Ömer Özak, 2012. "Distance to the Technological Frontier and Economic Development," Departmental Working Papers 1201, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    15. Celine Azemar & Julia Darby & Rodolphe Desbordes & Ian Wooton, 2012. "Market Familiarity and the Location of South and North MNEs," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 307-345, November.
    16. Walter Bossert & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Eliana La Ferrara, 2011. "A Generalized Index of Fractionalization," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(312), pages 723-750, October.
    17. Angeles, Luis, 2012. "Is there a role for genetics in economic development?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-08, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    18. Anne-Célia Disdier & Silvio Tai & Lionel Fontagné & Thierry Mayer, 2010. "Bilateral trade of cultural goods," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(4), pages 575-595, January.
    19. Chaudhry, Azam & Ikram, Rabia, 2015. "Does genetic proximity to high growth countries affect a country's own growth?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 444-453.
    20. Klaus Desmet & Michel Le Breton & Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Shlomo Weber, 2008. "Stability of Nations and Genetic Diversity," Working Papers 003-08, International School of Economics at TSU, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
    21. Patricia Beeson & Tara Watson & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    22. Kleimeier S. & Sander H. & Heuchemer S., 2014. "The resurgence of cultural borders in international finance during the financial crisis: Evidence from Eurozone cross-border depositing," Research Memorandum 013, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    23. repec:kap:jecgro:v:23:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10887-018-9154-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Philipp Kolo, 2012. "Measuring a New Aspect of Ethnicity - The Appropriate Diversity Index," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 221, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    25. Ömer Özak, 2018. "Distance to the pre-industrial technological frontier and economic development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 175-221, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    transport costs; genetics; trade; geography;

    JEL classification:

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

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