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Guiso, L., Sapienza, P-, Zingales, L. (2006). Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes? Journal of Economic Perspectives 20(2): 23-48

Until recently, economists have been reluctant to rely on culture as a possible determinant of economic phenomena. Much of this reluctance stems from the very notion of culture: it is so broad and the channels through which it can enter the economic discourse so ubiquitous (and vague) that it is difficult to design testable, refutable hypotheses. In recent years, however, better techniques and more data have made it possible to identify systematic differences in people's preferences and beliefs and to relate them to various measures of cultural legacy. These developments suggest an approach to introducing culturally-based explanations into economics that can be tested and may substantially enrich our understanding of economic phenomena. This paper summarizes this approach and its achievements so far, and outlines directions for future research.

Authors

Guiso, Luigi

Prof. Guiso joined the Institute in January 2007 from Università di Roma Tor Vergata. He has been visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business. He is a Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London and Director of the CEPR Finance Programme. He...

Sapienza, Paola

Paola Sapienza is a professor of finance at the Kellogg School of Management. She also serves as a faculty fellow for the Zell Center for Risk Research, a research affiliate of the Center for Economic Policy Research and a faculty research fellow in the National Bureau of Economic Research's...

Zingales, Luigi

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