Amoral Familism, Social Capital, or Trust? The Behavioural Foundations of the Italian North–South Divide
24 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2016
Date Written: August 2016
We present the first laboratory‐in‐the field experiment on the Italian North–South divide. Using a representative sample of the population, we measure whether regional disparities in ability to cooperate emerge even if differences in geography, institutions and criminal intrusion are silenced. We report that a behavioural gap in cooperation exists: Northern and Southern citizens react differently to the same incentives. Moreover, this gap cannot be accounted for by tolerance for risk, proxies of social capital and ‘amoral familism’. At least a share of North–South disparities is likely to derive from persistent differences in social norms.
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