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Culture, Spatial Diffusion of Ideas and Their Long-Lasting Imprints: Evidence from Froebel's Kindergarten Movement

Stefan Bauernschuster and Oliver Falck ()

No 659, SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research from DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)

Abstract: We document the spatial diffusion of Friedrich Froebel’s radical invention of kindergartens in 19th-century Germany. The first kindergarten was founded at Froebel’s birthplace. Early spatial diffusion can be explained by cultural proximity, measured by historical dialect similarity, to Froebel’s birthplace. This result is robust to the inclusion of higher order polynomials in geographic distance and similarity measures with respect to industry, geography or religion. Our findings suggest that a common cultural basis facilitates the spill-over of ideas. We further show that the contemporaneous spatial pattern of child care coverage is still correlated with cultural similarity to Froebel’s place of birth.

Keywords: Culture; spatial diffusion; public child care (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N33 J13 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37 p.
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-dem, nep-evo, nep-geo, nep-gro and nep-ure
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: Culture, spatial diffusion of ideas and their long-lasting imprints—evidence from Froebel’s kindergarten movement (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Culture, Spatial Diffusion of Ideas and their Long-Lasting Imprints - Evidence from Froebel's Kindergarten Movement (2014) Downloads
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