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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. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2009. "Neckties in the tropics: a model of international trade and cultural diversity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(3), pages 809-843, August.
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  8. Eckhard Janeba, 2004. "International Trade and Cultural Identity," NBER Working Papers 10426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Keith Head & Anne-Célia Disdier & Thierry Mayer, 2009. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10141, Sciences Po.
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  12. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 11195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. repec:hal:journl:hal-00266554 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  16. 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.
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