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Ancestry, language and culture

Author: Enrico Spolaore; Romain Wacziarg; National Bureau of Economic Research,
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2015.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 21242.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
We explore the interrelationships between various measures of cultural distance. We first discuss measures of genetic distance, used in the recent economics literature to capture the degree of relatedness between countries. We next describe several classes of measures of linguistic, religious, and cultural distances. We introduce new measures of cultural distance based on differences in average answers to questions  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Enrico Spolaore; Romain Wacziarg; National Bureau of Economic Research,
OCLC Number: 911044942
Notes: "June 2015"
Description: 1 online resource (42 pages, 2 unnumbered pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 21242.
Responsibility: Enrico Spolaore, Romain Wacziarg.

Abstract:

We explore the interrelationships between various measures of cultural distance. We first discuss measures of genetic distance, used in the recent economics literature to capture the degree of relatedness between countries. We next describe several classes of measures of linguistic, religious, and cultural distances. We introduce new measures of cultural distance based on differences in average answers to questions from the World Values Survey. Using a simple theoretical model we hypothesize that ancestral distance, measured by genetic distance, is positively correlated with linguistic, religious, and cultural distance. An empirical exploration of these correlations shows this to be the case. This empirical evidence is consistent with the view that genetic distance is a summary statistic for a wide array of cultural traits transmitted intergenerationally.

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