Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Great Expectations: The Persistent Effect of Institutions on Culture

Litina, Anastasia (2014): Great Expectations: The Persistent Effect of Institutions on Culture.

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Abstract

This research exploits the event of immigration to establish that institutions have a persistent effect on culture. It is argued that immigrants coming from corrupt countries, tend to overtrust the institutions at the host country. This inflated trust of immigrants is documented as the Great Expectations effect. This result is interesting and intriguing for several reasons. First, it highlights the persistent effect of institutions (at the origin country) on the cultural attitudes of immigrants. Interestingly, this effect is rather persistent and can be detected even to the second generation immigrants. Second, the analysis explores whether mean attitudes at the origin country have an effect on immigrants' attitude. The findings suggest that mean attitudes do not confer a statistically significant effect, whereas a horserace between origin institutions and origin culture suggests that it is the effect of institutions that prevails. Last, the analysis establishes that the inflated trust of immigrants affects their political attitudes. Immigrants coming from corrupt countries tend to be less interested in politics, to overtrust the host governments and to be less active in the political arena. In a globalized world where international immigration is rather extensive, pinning down the cultural differences across immigrants and thus the differences in their political attitudes is of an essence.

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