SITE Job Market Seminar with Devesh Rustagi, Brown University
SITE will host a job market seminar "Historical Self Governance and Norms of Cooperation" with Devesh Rustagi, Brown University.
2020-02-06 at 14:00
2020-02-06 at 15:30
Bertil Ohlinsgata 4, SITE library, 9th floor
Devesh Rustagi is a visiting Assistant Professor in the Departmen of Economics at Brown University. His research interest lies within the intersection of development economics, environmental economics, political economy, and behavioral economics. Devesh studies the origins and stability of civic values and institutions, how these forces interact, and the effect this interaction has on economic outcomes. He then builds on these insights to design and evaluate public policies. His current research projects are based in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, and Switzerland
Job market paper abstract:
This paper uses a natural experiment to study the effect of historical self-governance on fairness-based norms of cooperation that prescribe contribution provide others do the same. In the Middle Ages, the extinction of the Zaehringen dynasty from the absence of an heir resulted in some Swiss municipalities acquiring historical forms of self-governance, whereas the others continued under feudalism for hundreds of years. Data from three different sources – a behavioral experiment, World Values Survey, and Swiss Household Panel – consistently show that individuals from treated municipalities display stronger norms of cooperation than individuals from control group municipalities. Using a novel dataset, I track citizenship over time in a municipality to rule out migration as an explanation. Further analyses show that these differences persist not due to higher prosperity or education, but due to cultural transmission. Finally, though municipalities today have identical institutions of self-governance, these institutions function much better in the treated areas.
To find out more about Devesh Rustagi, visit his website.