Culture, Spatial Diffusion of Ideas and their Long-Lasting Imprints - Evidence from Froebel's Kindergarten Movement

38 Pages Posted: 9 May 2014

See all articles by Stefan Bauernschuster

Stefan Bauernschuster

University of Passau - Business Administration and Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Oliver Falck

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Department Human Capital and Innovation

Date Written: April 8, 2014

Abstract

We document the spatial diffusion of Friedrich Froebel’s radical invention of kindergartens in 19th-century Germany. The first kindergarten was founded at Froebel’s birthplace. Early spatial diffusion can be explained by cultural proximity, measured by historical dialect similarity, to Froebel’s birthplace. This result is robust to the inclusion of higher order polynomials in geographic distance and similarity measures with respect to industry, geography or religion. Our findings suggest that a common cultural basis facilitates the spill-over of ideas. We further show that the contemporaneous spatial pattern of child care coverage is still correlated with cultural similarity to Froebel’s place of birth.

Keywords: culture, spatial diffusion, public child care

JEL Classification: N330, J130, Z130

Suggested Citation

Bauernschuster, Stefan and Falck, Oliver, Culture, Spatial Diffusion of Ideas and their Long-Lasting Imprints - Evidence from Froebel's Kindergarten Movement (April 8, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4749, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2434453

Stefan Bauernschuster (Contact Author)

University of Passau - Business Administration and Economics ( email )

University of Passau
Innstrasse 27
D-94030 Passau
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Oliver Falck

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Department Human Capital and Innovation ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich, 81679
Germany

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