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This paper uses religion and language as proxies for culture and investigates how these proxies are related to investor rights. We find that a country's principal religion helps predict the cross-sectional variation in creditor rights better than a country's openness to international trade, its language, its income per capita, or the origin of its legal system. Catholic countries protect the rights of creditors less than other countries and have less private long-term debt. A country's opennessdoi:10.2139/ssrn.263507 fatcat:d7iv3uougnhlzdsxx53c35abra