Cultural Identity and Social Capital in Italy

53 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2020

See all articles by Daniel Sgroi

Daniel Sgroi

University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Michela Redoano

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Federica Liberini

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Ben Lockwood

University of Warwick

Emanuele Bracco

Lancaster University

Francesco Porcelli

University of Warwick

Abstract

In a pre-registered experiment involving 1,547 subjects across three Italian cities we exploit regional variation in background, language and diet to investigate the relationship between cultural identity, trust and cooperation. Subjects with relatives (especially maternal grandmothers) who originate in the north of Italy, and who share common cultural characteristics, contributed 15% more in a public goods game, displayed greater "social capital" such as trust in the government and more willingness to pay taxes, than did those whose language and diet identified them as being from the south. On the other hand, self-reported identity, a mainstay of the survey literature, had no predictive power. This highlights the importance of identity but only when it is measured appropriately.

Keywords: social capital, trust, identity, language, experiments

JEL Classification: Z13, D91, C83, C93

Suggested Citation

Sgroi, Daniel and Redoano, Michela and Liberini, Federica and Lockwood, Ben and Bracco, Emanuele and Porcelli, Francesco, Cultural Identity and Social Capital in Italy. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3708645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3708645

Daniel Sgroi (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Michela Redoano

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
+44 24 7652 3474 (Phone)
+44 24 7652 3032 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Federica Liberini

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

Ben Lockwood

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Emanuele Bracco

Lancaster University ( email )

Lancaster - LA1 4YW
United Kingdom

Francesco Porcelli

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

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