The Legacy of Historical Political Institutions on Individual Attitudes: Evidence for Italy 1000-1800

Paolo Buonanno (University of Bergamo)
Matteo Cervellati (University of Bologna)
Sara Lazzaroni (University of Bologna)
Giovanni Prarolo (University of Bologna)

Abstract: The need to build scal capacity in the territories that gained independence from the Holy Roman Empire lead to the emergence of new politico-economic social contracts. The long term exposure to macroeconomic equilibria characterized by more inclusive institutions and more productive policies shaped the economic and political attitudes. To test this hypothesis, and explore the persistent legacy of these historical experiences, we reconstruct the political history of each location in Italy by building a yearly cell-level panel collecting information of all political dominations in the Italian territory over the period 1000-1800. In territories that belonged to self-governed political entities, characterized by more inclusive institutions, tax evasion is today signicantly lower. We detect overall weaker eects in the Maritime Republics, mainly driven by annexed locations.