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The economics of culture: ethnicity, gender, and their interactions

Progetto di rilevante interesse nazionale (PRIN) 2017

We study the relationship between culture and economic outcomes with a focus on two specific dimensions of culture – ethnicity as related to migration, and gender and family culture – as well as their interactions. We investigate a number of distinct politico-economic outcomes that potentially share the common feature of reflecting the combined influence of the cultural factors we focus on. The project contains three parts, each including more specific lines.
Migration and ethnic culture
a. Immigrants, voter turnout, and neighborhood effects
We use panel observations on the universe of inhabitants from the municipality of Bologna spanning four elections to assess how the voters’ neighborhood ethnic composition affects their turnout. By exploiting the spatial structure of the data, we construct neighborhoods ranging from the building in which individuals live to larger aggregates. Individual and neighborhood-level characteristics will then be used to explore possible heterogeneous effects.
b. Ethnic entrepreneurship
We investigate the economic determinants and implications of ethnic entrepreneurship. At the cross-country level, we study the differences in the propensity to own a business between migrants and natives using EU datasets. At the area/regional level, we study migrant entrepreneurs in some Italian local production systems using mainly data from ISTAT and the Chambers of Commerce. We also carry out a survey based on interviews with a sample of migrant entrepreneurs.
c. The stage of development and migration decisions
The idea that development initially encourages and only after a certain level discourages emigration is widely accepted. We aim to analyze and test this hypothesis. With panel data, we measure the influence of development on migrants, separately for males and females, and for forced and voluntary migrants, to highlight differential effects on each group. We also look at the implications for rich countries’ policies.
d. Migration flows and youth condition in sending countries
Migration from developing countries involves youth whose departure has dramatic effects on themselves and their households. The youth focus is also warranted by the size of youth cohorts in Africa and Asia. The project looks at the linkages between migration flows and the youth labor market, education outcomes, returns to schooling, and household wealth/welfare, also in a gendered perspective.

Gender and family culture
a. Family structure and voting
We study the voting behavior of spouses by exploiting individual-level longitudinal information on turnout, household composition, and socio-demographic variables for the municipality of Bologna. We set out a model where the individual cost of voting depends on household contextual factors. Individual and household-level characteristics will then be used to investigate the gender gap in turnout over the life cycle.
b. Gender-based preference votes and women’s representation
We investigate the selection of municipal politicians in Italy with regard to their competence and gender with a focus on the double preference voting system introduced in 2013 for municipalities with a population above 5000. We employ a difference-in-discontinuity approach and interpret the results using a preferential voting framework where party leaders choose the competence and gender of candidates to trade off electoral success and gender unbalance.

a. The family structure of Italian migrants
Using Bank of Italy SHIW data, we collect descriptive evidence on the evolution of the immigrant family structure and the related nativity gaps along several dimensions. Next we explore the cultural determinants of the nativity gaps according to an epidemiological approach. We also investigate how the immigrant family structure is affected by policy reforms introducing labor quotas and family reunification.
b. Natives’ attitudes toward migrants’ citizenship acquisition: We analyze the relationship between attitudes towards citizenship acquisition and trust using Afrobarometer data. We refer to survey questions reflecting attitudes toward jus soli, naturalization, dual citizenship, and the gender of migrants. To test whether natives who are more trusting show more positive attitudes towards the acquisition of citizenship by migrants, we employ a 2SLS empirical strategy exploiting as IV the slave trades, civil conflict, and witchcraft beliefs.  

Durata: 2019 - 2022
Principal investigatorGraziella Bertocchi
Componenti gruppo di ricerca (UniMoRe): Marina Giovanna Murat, Alberto Rinaldi, Chiara Strozzi, Anzelika Zaiceva
Partners: Università degli Studi di ROMA "Tor Vergata", Università degli Studi di SALERNO, Università degli Studi di Bologna

[Ultimo aggiornamento: 15/05/2020 11:24:06]