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Achieving the American Dream: Cultural Distance, Cultural Diversity and Economic Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Valeria Rueda
  • Guillaume Laval
  • Etienne Patin

Abstract

Abstract: This article explores the role of individual cultural distance on income, using the genetic distance as a proxy for cultural distance. We show that cultural distance has heterogeneous predictive power. In particular, culturally distant individuals living in regions with other individuals from more trusting ancestries or less xenophobic ones are more likely to be economically successful. First generation migrants seem to be less likely to success the more culturally distant they are, but this effect vanishes as time spent in the USA increases. Our research challenges the static view that cultural differences are necessarily an obstacle to economic performance in the long-run. Our interpretation of the results is robust to the use of alternative measures for cultural distance.

Suggested Citation

  • Valeria Rueda & Guillaume Laval & Etienne Patin, 2016. "Achieving the American Dream: Cultural Distance, Cultural Diversity and Economic Performance," Economics Series Working Papers 140, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:140
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    Cited by:

    1. Ali,Rubaba & Barra,Alvaro Federico & Berg,Claudia N. & Damania,Richard & Nash,John D. & Russ,Jason Daniel, 2015. "Transport infrastructure and welfare : an application to Nigeria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7271, The World Bank.
    2. Barrett, Christopher B. & Swallow, Brent M., 2006. "Fractal poverty traps," World Development, Elsevier, pages 1-15.
    3. Shoji, Masahiro, 2013. "Guilt aversion and peer effects in crime: experimental and empirical evidence from Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 44746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Masahiro Shoji, 2014. "Channels of Peer Effects and Guilt Aversion in Crime: Experimental and Empirical Evidence from Bangladesh," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-923, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    5. Pedrosa, Jose & Do, Quy-Toan, 2008. "How does geographic distance affect credit market access in Niger ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4772, The World Bank.
    6. Barslund, Mikkel & Rand, John & Tarp, Finn & Chiconela, Jacinto, 2007. "Understanding Victimization: The Case of Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1237-1258, July.
    7. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2004. "Insecurity and welfare," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-31, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Nathalie Francken, 2009. "Reducing Corruption in Public Education Programs in Africa:Instruments and Capture in Madagascar," LICOS Discussion Papers 24009, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    9. Minten, Bart & Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Agricultural Technology, Productivity, and Poverty in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 797-822, May.
    10. Ogus, Anthony, 2005. "Towards Appropriate Institutional Arrangements for Regulation in Less Developed Countries," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30644, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
    11. Nathalie Francken & Bart Minten & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2005. "The Impact of Media and Monotoring on Corruptin in Decentralized Public Programs: Evidence from Madagascar," LICOS Discussion Papers 15505, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    12. Moser, Christine M. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Minten, Bart, 2005. "Missed opportunities and missing markets: Spatio-temporal arbitrage of rice in Madagascar," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19338, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    13. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2004. "Isolation and Subjective Welfare," Economics Series Working Papers 216, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    14. Francken, Nathalie & Minten, Bart & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Media, Monitoring, and Capture of Public Funds: Evidence from Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 242-255, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cultural Distance; Cultural Diversity; Genetics; Historical Persistence; Labor Participation; Social Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • R - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics

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