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Incompatible European Partners? Cultural Predisposition and Household Financial Behaviour

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  • UserMichael Haliassos holds the Chair of Macroeconomics and Finance at Goethe University Frankfurt and is Director of the newly launched CEPR Network on Household Finance, Fellow of CEPR and NETSPAR, and advisor to the ECB and ESMA. World_link
  • ClockThursday 18 February 2016, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseRoom W4.03 Judge Business School.

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The recent influx of migrants and refugees into Europe and elsewhere raises questions as to whether migrant behavior reflects cultural predispositions and whether those prevent assimilation through exposure to host institutions. The paper focuses on financial behavior and uses administrative data on migrants and refugees to Sweden to study differences across cultural groups in the relationship of behavior to underlying household characteristics. It shows that such differences do exist but they diminish with exposure to host country institutions, even when cultural distances are large. Viewed from a different angle, our results also have implications for the potential of European institutional harmonization, exogenously imposed in the context of the fiscal crisis, to alleviate cultural differences in financial behavior. Finally, we find that robust cultural classification of European countries, based on genetic distance or on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, fails to identify a single ‘southern’ culture but points to a ‘northern’ culture.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Finance Workshop Series series.

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