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Peers and Culture

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  • Sáez-Martí, María

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Sjögren, Anna

    ()
    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

Abstract

We analyze the evolution of cultural traits when parents purposefully invest resources in order to socialize their children to the cultural traits that maximize child lifetime utility. We assume that children are not passive in their adoption of traits from peers. Instead they are guided by an evaluation of the merit of traits. We show that such evaluation is likely to render this process of "oblique transmission" biased. We then show that when transmission of traits from society is biased or frequency dependent, cultural diversity is sustainable even when all parents strive to transmit the same trait. We also show that demand for cultural pluralism on the part of parent does not guarantee cultural diversity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 642.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 12 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0642

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Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
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Web page: http://www.ifn.se/
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Keywords: Peer Groups; Cultural Transmission; Cultural Diversity; Oblique Transmission;

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  1. 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.
  2. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  3. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  4. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hauk, Esther & Saez-Marti, Maria, 2002. "On the Cultural Transmission of Corruption," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 311-335, December.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1991. "A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 67, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
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