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The Deep Imprint of Roman Sandals: Evidence of Long-lasting Effects of Roman Rule on Personality, Economic Performance, and Well-Being in Germany

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  • Michael Fritsch

    () (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany)

  • Martin Obschonka

    () (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

  • Fabian Wahl

    () (University of Hohenheim, Germany)

  • Michael Wyrwich

    () (University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany)

Abstract

We investigate whether the Roman presence in the southern part of Germany nearly 2,000 years ago had a deep imprinting effect with long run consequences on a broad spectrum of measures ranging from present-day personality profiles to a number of socioeconomic outcomes and why. Today's populations living in the former Roman part of Germany score indeed higher on certain personality traits, have higher life and health satisfaction, longer life expectancy, generate more inventions and behave in a more entrepreneurial way. These findings help explain that regions under Roman rule have higher present-day levels of economic development in terms of GDP per capita. The effects hold when controlling for other potential historical influences. When addressing potential channels of a long term effect of Roman rule the data indicates that the Roman road network plays an important role as a mechanism in the imprinting that is still perceptible today.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fritsch & Martin Obschonka & Fabian Wahl & Michael Wyrwich, 2020. "The Deep Imprint of Roman Sandals: Evidence of Long-lasting Effects of Roman Rule on Personality, Economic Performance, and Well-Being in Germany," Jena Economic Research Papers 2020-005, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2020-005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Romans; personality traits; culture; well-being; regional performance; Limes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N9 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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