Kin-Networks and Institutional Development
76 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2016 Last revised: 12 Nov 2019
Date Written: April 24, 2019
The origins of growth-enhancing political institutions are not well understood. This study tests the hypothesis that the Catholic Church’s medieval marriage policies fostered inclusive institutions by dissolving extended kin networks. In a difference-in-difference setting, I provide evidence that exposure to the Church fostered the formation of medieval communes – self-governed cities with inclusive institutions. Moreover, within Christian Europe, stricter regional and temporal cousin-marriage prohibitions are positively associated with commune cities. In addition, longer medieval Church exposure predicts lower cousin-marriage rates; in turn, low cousin-marriage rates predict higher civicness and more inclusive institutions among pre-industrial ethnicities, European regions, and modern-day countries.
Keywords: Democracy, Family, Kin-groups, Church, Cousin-Marriage, Institutions
JEL Classification: O10, N20, N30, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation