Amoral familism, social capital, or trust? : the behavioural foundations of the Italian North-South divide
Title: Amoral familism, social capital, or trust? : the behavioural foundations of the Italian North-South divide
Citation: The economic journal, 2016, Vol. 126, No. 594, pp. 1318-1341
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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