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Living in the Garden of Eden: Mineral Resources Foster Individualism

  • Mathieu Couttenier
  • Marc Sangnier

This paper documents a positive relationship between mineral resources abundance and individualistic values in the United States. We refer to "individualism" as the set of values opposed to public intervention in income allocation and favorable to individual selfresponsibility. We show that individuals living in states with large mineral resources endowment are more individualistic. We take advantage of both the spatial and the temporal distributions of mineral discoveries since 1800 to uncover two channels. The experience channel arises because of direct observation of discoveries by individuals. The transmission channel consists in the persistence of specific values across generations.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 12.05.

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Length: 37 pp. + figures and tables
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:12.05
Contact details of provider: Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.20
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