The Economics of Culture
Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 12:15 PM - 2:15 PM (EST)
- Chair: Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago
Institutions Shape Culture: The Civic Imprint of Democracy
AbstractExposure to democratic institutions during ages 18 to 25 (the “impressionable years”) leads to persistently higher levels of civic behavior. Moreover, democracy fosters the formation of civic values, support for democracy, and reciprocity, that is, on multiple aspects of civic culture likely underlying prosocial behavior. Furthermore, we document positive effects on out-group trust, a defining aspect of generalized morality. In contrast, we find no significant effects on altruism nor on in-group trust. Supporting the impressionable years thesis (and thus our empirical strategy), democratic exposure during other periods of life does not leave the same imprint. We conclude by exploring how different components of democracy affect various dimensions of civic culture.
AbstractWe propose a novel methodology to estimate migration stocks of individuals from subnational areas of origin to any possible country in the world, based on search engine data performed in destination countries. We use data obtained through this methodology to study ``social remittances'' from Europe to Africa and in particular to test whether exposure of migrants to discrimination at destination affects support for democracy in origin communities. Our estimates indicate that a one s.d. higher exposure to anti-immigrant sentiment at destination leads to around half a s.d. deterioration in support for democracy at origin.
Economic Integration and the Transmission of Democracy
AbstractIn this paper, we study if exposure to the institutions of trade partners changes individuals' attitudes towards democracy and favors the process of democratization. We combine survey data with country-level measures of democracy from 1960 to 2015, and exploit the improvement in air, relative to sea, transportation to derive a time-varying instrument for trade. Relying on within-country variation across cohorts, we find that individuals who grew up when their country was more integrated with democracies are, at the time of the survey, more supportive of democracy. Reflecting the change in citizens' preferences, economic integration with democratic partners has a large, positive effect on a country's democracy score. Instead, economic integration with non-democratic partners has no impact either on individuals' attitudes or on countries' institutions. We provide evidence consistent with the transmission of democratic capital from more to less democratic countries.
- Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology
- D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making