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Wößmann, Ludger; Becker, Sascha O.; Boeckh, Katrin; Hainz, Christa (2010): The Empire Is Dead, Long Live the Empire! Values and Human Interactions 90 Years after the Fall of the Habsburg Empire. Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2010: Ökonomie der Familie - Session: History Matters D3-V3
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Do Empires affect human values and behavior long after their demise? In several Eastern European countries, communities on both sides of the long-gone border of the Habsburg Empire have been sharing common formal institutions for 90 years now. We exploit this geographic discontinuity in a regression-discontinuity design with country fixed effects using data of individuals living inside a restricted band around the former border. We find that historical Habsburg affiliation increases current social capital and trust and reduces corruption in several public services. Past formal institutions can leave a legacy through cultural norms even after generations of common statehood.