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Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances

37 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2006  

Paola Giuliano

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Antonio Spilimbergo

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - The William Davidson Institute

Giovanni Tonon

Harvard University

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Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

This paper investigates how the measures of genetic distance between populations, which have been used in anthropology and historical linguistics, can be used in economics. What does the correlation between genetic distance and economic variables mean? Using the measure of genetic distance, a newly-collected database on transport costs, as well as more refined measures of geography within Europe, we show that i) geography explains both genetic distance and transportation costs between European countries, and ii) genetic distance does not explain economic outcomes once we control for geography. We conclude that genetic distance in economics capture transportation costs between countries and not cultural differences.

Keywords: transport costs, genetics, trade, geography

JEL Classification: Z10, F10

Suggested Citation

Giuliano, Paola and Spilimbergo, Antonio and Tonon, Giovanni, Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances (July 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2229. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=921405

Paola Giuliano (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Antonio Spilimbergo

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States
202-623-6346 (Phone)
202-623-6336 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - The William Davidson Institute ( email )

724 E. University Ave.
Wyly Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States

Giovanni Tonon

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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