Parents, Television and Cultural Change
AbstractThis paper develops a model of cultural transmission where television plays a central role for socialization. Parents split their free time between educating their children, which is costly, and watching TV which though entertaining might socialize the children to the wrong trait. The free to air television industry maximizes advertisement revenue. We show that TV watching is increasing in cultural coverage, cost of education, TV’s entertainment value and decreasing in the perceived cultural distance between the two traits. A monopolistic television industry captures all TV watching by both groups if the perceived cultural distance between groups is small relative to the TV’s entertainment value. Otherwise, more coverage will be given to the most profitable group where profitability increases in group size, advertisement sensitivity and perceived cultural distance. This leads to two possible steady states where one group is larger but both groups survive in the long run. Competition in the media industry might lead to cultural extinction but only if one group is very insensitive to advertisement and not radical enough not to watch TV. We briefly discuss the existing evidence for the empirical predictions of the model.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 280.
Date of creation: 05 Apr 2011
Date of revision:
television; socialization; cultural trait dynamics; media coverage;
Other versions of this item:
- Esther Hauk & Giovanni Immordino, 2011. "Parents, Television and Cultural Change," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 868.11, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Esther Hauk & Giovanni Immordino, 2011. "Parents, Television and Cultural Change," Working Papers 544, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-04-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CUL-2011-04-16 (Cultural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2011-04-16 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2011-04-16 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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