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Cultural Roots of Family Ties

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Document pages: 37 pages

Abstract: We forward the hypothesis and empirically establish that variations in the strength of family ties are rooted in culture. In particular, we show that individualism is associated with looser family ties. We exploit the associations between contemporary individualism and historical climatic and disease environments to establish a causal relation. At both the individual- and country-level, we find strong support that individualism reduces family ties. The estimated effects are economically large and robust to a wide variety of potentially confounding variables.

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