Priests and Postmen: Historical Origins of National Identity
Claudia Rei ()
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) from University of Warwick, Department of Economics
The rise of the modern state in Western Europe, saw the emergence of national identities in the nineteenth century. This paper evaluates the association between historical religious and state capacity in Portugal proxied by priests and postmen in 1875, and current measures of national identity proxied by voter turnout in democratic elections from 1975 to 2017. I ﬁnd that places with a stronger historical presence of postmen vote more in any election, but they vote less in local elections relative to national elections. This result suggests a persistent association of historical state presence with national identity. Historical religious presence is also positively associated with voter turnout but in smaller magnitude. There is however no negative association with local elections: in contrast with historical state capacity, historical religious capacity is connected with the local rather than the national unit.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wrk:warwec:1291
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