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Title:Dialects, cultural identity, and economic exchange PDF Logo
Authors:Falck, Oliver
Heblich, Stephan
Lameli, Alfred
Südekum, Jens
Issue Date:2010
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 4743
Abstract:We investigate whether time-persistent cultural borders impede economic exchange across regions of the same country. To measure cultural differences we evaluate, for the first time in economics, linguistic micro-data about phonological and grammatical features of German dialects. These data are taken from a unique linguistic survey conducted between 1879 and 1888 in 45,000 schools. Matching this information to 439 current German regions, we construct a dialect similarity matrix. Using a gravity analysis, we show that current cross-regional migration is positively affected by historical dialect similarity. This suggests that cultural identities formed in the past still influence economic exchange today.
Subjects:Dialects
language
culture
internal migration
gravity
Germany
JEL:R23
Z10
J61
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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