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Does Culture Affect Unemployment? Evidence from the Röstigraben

  • Beatrix Brügger
  • Rafael Lalive
  • Josef Zweimüller

This paper studies the role of culture in shaping unemployment outcomes. The empir- ical analysis is based on local comparisons across a language barrier in Switzerland. This Röstigraben separates 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 dura- tion 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 The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2009-10.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2009_10
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NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz

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  11. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: an empirical investigation of beliefs, work, and fertility," Staff Report 361, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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