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

Giampaolo Lecce, Laura Ogliari and Tommaso Orlando
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Laura Ogliari: Bocconi University

No 2097R, Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers from Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University

Abstract: 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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N43 D74 P16 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-gro, nep-soc and nep-ure
Date: 2017-08, Revised 2017-12
Note: Includes Supplimental Material
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