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Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France

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  • Disdier, Anne-Célia
  • Head, Keith
  • Mayer, Thierry

Abstract

Free trade in audio-visual services has faced opposition on the grounds that foreign media undermine domestic culture, and ultimately, global diversity. Using a long panel of French birth registries, we assess the media-culture link using name frequencies as a measure of tastes. Controlling for the number of people who currently have a name and unobserved name effects, our regressions show that media influences choices via selective imitation. Parents are much more likely to adopt media names that they associate with youth. Using estimated parameters, we simulate our model of name choice to reveal that, absent foreign media, fewer than 5% of French babies would have been named differently. Our simulations also suggest a positive effect of foreign media on the welfare of parents.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 80 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 226-238

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:80:y:2010:i:2:p:226-238

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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Keywords: Endogenous tastes Cultural transmission Television Cinema Popular music;

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References

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  1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
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  3. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are emily and greg more employable than lakisha and jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination," Natural Field Experiments 00216, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2008. "Detection of local interactions from the spatial pattern of names in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00266554, HAL.
  5. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure) 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. repec:hal:journl:hal-00266554 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Olivier, Jacques & Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2008. "Globalization and the dynamics of cultural identity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 356-370, December.
  8. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," NBER Working Papers 9938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2005. "Neckties in the Tropics: A Model of International Trade and Cultural Diversity," NBER Working Papers 11890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Head, Charles Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2006. "Exposure to Foreign Media and Changes in Cultural Traits: Evidence from Naming Patterns in France," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5674, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 11195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Francois, Patrick & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "On the protection of cultural goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 359-369, March.
  13. Janeba, Eckhard, 2007. "International trade and consumption network externalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 781-803, May.
  14. Eckhard Janeba, 2004. "International Trade and Cultural Identity," NBER Working Papers 10426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Andreu Mas-Colell, 1999. "Should Cultural Goods Be Treated Differently?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 87-93, March.
  16. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  17. Bala, Venkatesh & Van Long, Ngo, 2005. "International trade and cultural diversity with preference selection," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 143-162, March.
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