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Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances

Paola Giuliano (), Antonio Spilimbergo () and Giovanni Tonon

No 5807, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

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: cultural economics; genetics; geography; trade; transport costs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F10 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int
Date: 2006-09
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