Incompatible European Partners? Cultural Predispositions and Household Financial Behavior
53 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2014 Last revised: 22 Apr 2016
Date Written: April 21, 2016
The recent influx of migrants and refugees into Europe and elsewhere raises questions as to whether migrant behavior reflects cultural predispositions and whether assimilation through exposure to host institutions can be expected. The paper focuses on financial behavior and uses high-quality administrative data on migrants and refugees to Sweden. It uncovers differences across cultural groups in how behavior relates to household characteristics, and shows that differences diminish with exposure to host country institutions, even for large cultural distances. Interestingly, 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. Our results also have implications for the potential of European institutional harmonization, exogenously imposed during the fiscal crisis, to alleviate cultural differences in financial behavior.
Keywords: Household Portfolios, Household Finance, Culture, Institutions
JEL Classification: G11, Z1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation