Culture: Persistence and Evolution

60 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2014

See all articles by Francesco Giavazzi

Francesco Giavazzi

University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Ivan Petkov

Northeastern University

Fabio Schiantarelli

Boston College - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2014

Abstract

This paper presents evidence on the speed of evolution (or lack thereof) of a wide range of values and beliefs of different generations of European immigrants to the US. The main result is that persistence differs greatly across cultural attitudes. Some, for instance deep personal religious values, some family and moral values, and political orientation converge very slowly to the prevailing US norm. Other, such as attitudes toward cooperation, redistribution, effort, children's independence, premarital sex, and even the frequency of religious practice or the intensity of association with one's religion, converge rather quickly. The results obtained studying higher generation immigrants differ greatly from those found when the analysis is limited to the second generation, as typically done in the literature, and they imply a lesser degree of persistence than previously thought. Finally, we show that persistence is “culture specific" in the sense that the country from which one's ancestors came matters for the pattern of generational convergence.

Keywords: beliefs, culture, evolution, immigration, integration, persistence, transmission, values

JEL Classification: A13, F22, J00, J61, Z1

Suggested Citation

Giavazzi, Francesco and Petkov, Ivan and Schiantarelli, Fabio, Culture: Persistence and Evolution (June 2014). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10024, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2501496

Francesco Giavazzi (Contact Author)

University of Bocconi - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER) ( email )

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Ivan Petkov

Northeastern University ( email )

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Fabio Schiantarelli

Boston College - Department of Economics ( email )

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