Empirical Micro Doctoral Seminar

Market Integration and Moral Values: Evidence from the Expansion of the US Railroad Network

Max Winkler
September 19, 2018 | 12:15 - 13:00 | SOF-G-21

Abstract: I use variation in historical market access of counties in the United States to examine the impact of an increase in market integration on the spatial distribution of moral values. I measure moral values of counties by applying text analysis tools to a novel data set of recently digitized local newspapers. I find that an increase in market access is associated with more emphasis of communal moral values and, in particular, a stronger emphasis of in-group loyalty values. This is true even after I control for changes in county access to railroads per se. Moreover, I find a negative effect on Republican vote share, the party of big business, the urbanites, and civil rights at the time.