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

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Author Info

  • Anne-Célia Disdier

    (INRA-INAPG, UMR Economie Publique)

  • Keith Head

    (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia)

  • Thierry Mayer

    (Université de Paris Sud, CEP II, PSE, and CEPR)

Abstract

Free trade in audio-visual services has faced opposition on the grounds that foreign media undermine domestic culture, and ultimately, global diversity. We assess the media-culture link using name frequencies as a measure of tastes. Using a 47-year panel of French birth registries, we first show that names appearing on television shows, movies, or in songs are about five times more popular than other names. Most, but not all, of this relationship arises from endogeneity: song and script writers, as well as performers and their parents, select names that would be popular anyway. Using name attributes, fixed effects, and lagged popularity as controls, our regression results suggest that media affect choices by informing parents of unfamiliar names.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 213.

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Date of creation: 15 Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:213

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Keywords: Endogenous Tastes; Cultural transmission; Television; Cinema; Popular Music;

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  1. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2006. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Development Working Papers 213, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Head, Charles Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2007. "Detection of Local Interactions from the Spatial Pattern of Names in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 6340, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 941-64, November.
  4. Eckhard Janeba, 2004. "International Trade and Cultural Identity," NBER Working Papers 10426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  7. repec:hal:journl:hal-00266554 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Vitor Trindade & James E. Rauch, 2005. "Neckties in the Tropics: A Model of International Trade and Cultural Diversity," Working Papers 0517, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  9. Andreu Mas-Colell, 1999. "Should Cultural Goods Be Treated Differently?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 87-93, March.
  10. 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.
  11. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  12. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805, August.
  13. Francois, Patrick & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "On the protection of cultural goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 359-369, March.
  14. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 11195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Janeba, Eckhard, 2007. "International trade and consumption network externalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 781-803, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Olivier, Jacques & Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2008. "Globalization and the dynamics of cultural identity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 356-370, December.
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