Resistance to Institutions and Cultural Distance: Brigandage in Post-Unification Italy

64 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2017

See all articles by Giampaolo Lecce

Giampaolo Lecce

Università Bocconi; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Laura Ogliari

Bocconi University

Tommaso Orlando

Bank of Italy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 17, 2017


We study how cultural distance affects the rejection of imposed institutions. To do so, we exploit the transplantation of Piedmontese institutions on Southern Italy that occurred during the Italian unification. We assemble a novel and unique dataset containing municipal-level information on episodes of brigandage, a form of violent uprising against the unitary government. We use the geographic distance from local settlements of Piedmontese descent as a proxy for the cultural distance between each municipality and the new rulers. We find robust evidence that cultural distance from the origins of the transplanted institutions is significantly associated with more intense resistance to these institutions. Our results further suggest that the rejection of the transplanted institutions may have a long-lasting effect on political participation.

Keywords: Institutions, Institutional Transplantations, Culture, Social Unrest, Electoral Turnout

JEL Classification: N43, D74, P16, Z10

Suggested Citation

Lecce, Giampaolo and Ogliari, Laura and Orlando, Tommaso, Resistance to Institutions and Cultural Distance: Brigandage in Post-Unification Italy (December 17, 2017). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2097R. Available at SSRN: or

Giampaolo Lecce (Contact Author)

Università Bocconi ( email )

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Laura Ogliari

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, 20136

Tommaso Orlando

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics