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How Would your Kids Vote if I Open my Doors? Evidence from Venezuela

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  • Rodriguez, Francisco
  • Wagner, Rodrigo

Abstract

For how long does cultural heritage persist? Do the culturally inherited values of immigrants dilute as generations pass? We answer these question by studying the relationship between revealed political behavior of immigrant families and the culture of the place where they migrated from, either one or many generations ago. Using surnames as indicators of region of origin of Italians in Venezuela, we study the effect of cultural heritage on two indicators of revealed political behavior: (i) propensity for civic engagement, and (ii) propensity for redistribution. A well established literature documents greater propensity for civic engagement and lower propensity for redistribution among Northern Italians. In Venezuela, we measure the former by turnout before the era of political polarization and the latter by signing behavior against Hugo Chávez in the 2004 recall referendum drive. Despite the fact that the wave of Italian immigration to Venezuela occurred more than half a century before the events studied in this paper, we do not find a greater propensity for civic engagement nor preference against redistribution among descendants from Northern as opposed to Southern Italians, suggesting that cultural assimilation may be a strong determinant of political behavior in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodriguez, Francisco & Wagner, Rodrigo, 2009. "How Would your Kids Vote if I Open my Doors? Evidence from Venezuela," MPRA Paper 19223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19223
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-177, January.
    2. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2016. "Long-Term Persistence," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(6), pages 1401-1436, December.
    3. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Social Capital as Good Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 295-320, 04-05.
    4. Paola Giuliano, 2007. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 927-952, September.
    5. Antecol, Heather, 2000. "An examination of cross-country differences in the gender gap in labor force participation rates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 409-426, July.
    6. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950.
    7. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; political incorporation of immigrants; family economics; redistribution; political preferences; civic engagement; Latin America;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy

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