LONG-TERM CULTURAL IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION: Evidence of migrants as drivers of New World individualism and Old World collectivism
- 29 Mar 2017
People who believed in individualism, as reflected in their having less common names, were more likely to emigrate from Scandinavian countries to the United States, leaving more collectivist-minded compatriots behind. The long-term impact has been that Scandinavian districts that experienced more emigration are still relatively more collectivist today than those that experienced less – while the United States is one of the most individualistic countries in the world today.
These are among the findings of new research by Anne Sofie Beck Knudsen, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2017 annual conference. Her study constructs historical indicators of individualistic and collectivist culture from the distribution of names in historical birth registers and from the written language of local newspapers around the turn of the twentieth century.