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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

  • Keith Head

    (Sauder School of Business [British Columbia])

  • Anne-Célia Disdier

    (INRA, UMR Economie Publique INRA-AgroParisTech)

  • Thierry Mayer

    (Département d'économie)

Abstract

Free trade in audio-visual services has faced opposition on the grounds that foreign media undermine domestic culture, and ultimately, global diversity. Using a long panel of French birth registries, we assess the media-culture link using name frequencies as a measure of tastes. Controlling for the number of people who currently have a name and unobserved name effects, our regressions show that media influences choices via selective imitation. Parents are much more likely to adopt media names that they associate with youth. Using estimated parameters, we simulate our model of name choice to reveal that, absent foreign media, less than 5% of French babies would have been named differently. Our simulations also suggest a positive effect of foreign media on the welfare of parents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/10141.

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Date of creation: 13 Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/10141

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Related research

Keywords: endogenous tastes; cultural transmission; television; cinema; popular music;

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References

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  1. Janeba, Eckhard, 2007. "International trade and consumption network externalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 781-803, May.
  2. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2010. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 226-238, March.
  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. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2004. "Neckties in the Tropics: a Model of International Trade and Cultural Diversity," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 618, Econometric Society.
  5. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00266554 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Francois, Patrick & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "On the protection of cultural goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 359-369, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales & Luigi Guiso, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 11999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2008. "Detection Of Local Interactions From The Spatial Pattern Of Names In France," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 67-95.
  10. 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.
  11. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  13. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  14. Andreu Mas-Colell, 1999. "Should Cultural Goods Be Treated Differently?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 87-93, March.
  15. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 11195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Eckhard Janeba, 2004. "International Trade and Cultural Identity," NBER Working Papers 10426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. repec:hal:journl:hal-00266554 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. 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.
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