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A theory of tolerance

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  • Corneo, Giacomo
  • Jeanne, Olivier

Abstract

We develop an economic theory of tolerance where endogenous lifestyles and exogenous traits are invested with symbolic value by people. Value systems are rationally chosen by parents for their children. In conjunction with actual behavior, value systems determine the esteem enjoyed by individuals. Intolerant individuals attach all symbolic value to a small number of attributes and are irrespectful of people with di¤erent ones. Tolerant people have diversi ed values and respect social alterity. We study the formation of values attached to various types of attributes and identify circumstances under which tolerance spontaneously arises. Policy may a¤ect the evolution of tolerance in distinctive ways, and there may be efficiency as well as equity reasons to promote tolerance. --

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Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2007/13.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:200713

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Keywords: value systems; tolerance;

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  1. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
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  7. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure) 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  8. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2007. "Symbolic Values, Occupational Choice, and Economic Development," IZA Discussion Papers 2763, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  12. Andrew Postlewaite, . ""The Social Basis of Interdependent Preferences''," CARESS Working Papres, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences 97-14, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  13. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  14. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
  15. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "'Bend It Like Beckham': Identity, Socialization and Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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