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Detection of Local Interactions from the Spatial Pattern of Names in France

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  • Head, Charles Keith
  • Mayer, Thierry

Abstract

Using data on name distributions in 95 French departments observed from 1946 to 2002, we investigate spatial and social mechanisms behind the transmission of parental preferences. Drawing inspiration from recent work on social interactions, we develop a simple discrete choice model that predicts a linear relationship between choices by agents in one location and the choices made in neighbouring areas. We explain the shares of parents that give their children Saint, Arabic, and American-type names. In a second exercise we examine the effect of distance between locations on differences in name-type shares. In our last exercise we consider dissimilarity in actual names rather than name-types. Using Manhattan Distances as our metric, we find a steady and substantial decline in the importance of geographic distance. Meanwhile, differences in class and national origins have increasing explanatory power.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6340.

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Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6340

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Keywords: Conformity; Cultural transmission; Diffusion; Geography; Neighbourhood effects; Social economics;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 11195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  4. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2011. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: evidence from naming patterns in france," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  7. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2002. "A Multinomial-Choice Model of Neighborhood Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 298-303, May.
  8. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2001. "Externalities and Cities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 245-274, April.
  9. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2004. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," Development Working Papers 186, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  10. Durlauf,S.N., 2003. "Neighborhood effects," Working papers 17, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  11. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  12. Brock, William A & Durlauf, Steven N, 2001. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 235-60, April.
  13. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Non-Europe : the magnitude and causes of market fragmentation in the EU," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques bla99004a, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1999. "Measuring Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1878, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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 5674, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2009. "Social Interactions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0739, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  3. Alessandra Cassar & Giovanna d'Adda & Pauline Grosjean, 2013. "Institutional Quality, Culture, and Norms of Cooperation: Evidence from a Behavioral Field Experiment," Discussion Papers 2013-10, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  4. Alberto Bisin & Andrea Moro & Giorgio Topa, 2011. "The empirical content of models with multiple equilibria in economies with social interactions," Staff Reports 504, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. Olivetti, Claudia & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2013. "In the Name of the Son (and the Daughter): Intergenerational Mobility in the United States, 1850-1930," CEPR Discussion Papers 9372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "What Separates Us? Sources of Resistance to Globalization," Working Papers 2013-26, CEPII research center.
  7. Pauline Grosjean & Claudia Senik, 2011. "Democracy, Market Liberalization, and Political Preferences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 365-381, February.
  8. Yann Algan & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2013. "The Economic Incentives of Cultural Transmission: Spatial : Spatial Evidence from Naming Patterns across France," Working Papers 2013-25, CEPII research center.

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