Edited by Robert A. Moffitt, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and also approved July 24, 2021 (received for review April 16, 2021)



While ahead cross-national compare have displayed that individualistic cultures are linked with more innovation, growth, and also income mobility 보다 collectivist societies, our analysis, operating at a finer spatial resolution, displayed the relationship also holds within a country and also provides brand-new insights right into the mechanisms. Our finding—that children who grow up in united state counties through a stronger historically determined culture of individualism have higher upward mobility—identifies a far-reaching component of the persistent “causal result of place” the is not described by various other political and economic variables. V suggestive proof that informal channels explain an ext of the result, this study also highlights the require for ongoing work to measure culture and that is transmission.

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Where an individual grows up has big implications for your long-term economic outcomes, consisting of earnings and intergenerational mobility. Even within the unified States, the “causal impact of place” varies greatly and cannot be fully explained through socioeconomic conditions. Throughout different nations, sport in growth and also mobility have actually been connected to an ext individualistic cultures. We assess exactly how variation of historically pushed individualism within the United claims affects mobility. Locations in the United says that to be isolated ~ above the frontier for longer periods of time throughout the 19th century have a stronger culture of “rugged individualism” Econometrica 88, 2329–2368 (2020)>. We integrate county-level actions of frontier endure with contemporary measures the the causal impact of location on mobility—the suspect percentage adjust in one individual’s earnings at age 26 y connected with “growing up” in a certain county Q. J. Econ. 133, 1163–1228 (2018)>. Making use of commuting zone addressed effects and also a suite the county-level controls to absorb regional variation in frontier suffer and modern economic conditions, we find secondary decade the frontier experience outcomes in 25% greater modern-day revenue mobility for children of parents in the 25th percentile the income and 14% because that those born to parents in the 75th percentile. We usage mediation evaluation to present suggestive proof that not blocked manifestations of “rugged individualism”—those embodied through the people themselves—are much more strongly connected with increase mobility 보다 formal plan or selective migration.

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Author contributions: B.L. And also S.M.S. Draft research, performed research, analyzed data, and wrote the paper.