Südekum, Jens Heblich, Stephan Falck, Oliver Lameli, Alfred
Year of Publication:
Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2010: Ökonomie der Familie - Session: Cultural Influences on Economic Behaviour No. C13-V1
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.
Dialects Language Culture Internal migration Gravity Germany