Dialects, human capital and labour market outcomes
(Job Market Paper)
This paper investigates whether linguistic similarity to Standard Italian affects educational attainment and labor market outcomes, by exploiting unique micro linguistic data on dialects spoken at the beginning of the 20th century in 338 Italian municipalities. Adopting the view that, historically, dialects were the native language of the population and Standard Italian a “second” language, I advance the idea that historical dialects influence contemporary outcomes. Reduced form estimates, exploiting within province variation, show that linguistic similarity to Standard Italian is positively associated with present day educational outcomes and incidence of occupations intensive in language skills.
Studying more to vote less. Education and voter turnout in Italy
with Lorenzo Rocco, IZA DP No. 12816
We use Italian municipality data on education and voter participation in national elections to estimate the effect of schooling on voter turnout. By adopting a fixed effect instrumental variable identification strategy, we find that education reduces voter turnout, more so in municipalities with higher income, lower social capital, which experienced political misconduct in the past and have low institutional quality. Analysis with individual data confirms these results. We discuss several mechanisms to rationalize our findings ranging from the opportunity cost of time to disaffection and civic protest.