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Peers and Culture

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  • María Sáez-Martí
  • Anna Sjögren

Abstract

We analyze the evolution of culture when parents socialize children to the cultural variants that maximize child lifetime utility. Parents invest in cultural transmission by taking into account that children are also influenced by peers. We model the influence of peers by assuming that children observe different cultural variants in their peer group, assign merit to them and adopt one variant, following a probabilistic adoption rule. We show that cultural diversity is sustainable even if all parents strive to transmit the same variant. We also show that a parental demand for cultural pluralism does not guarantee cultural diversity. Copyright � The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2008 .

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 110 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 73-92

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:110:y:2008:i:1:p:73-92

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Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9442

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  1. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  2. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  3. Hauk, Esther & Saez-Marti, Maria, 2002. "On the Cultural Transmission of Corruption," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 311-335, December.
  4. Becker, Gary S, 1991. "A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1109-16, October.
  5. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  6. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
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