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Endogenous Indoctrination: Occupational Choices, the Evolution of Beliefs and the Political Economy of Reforms

  • Gilles Saint-Paul

I analyse a model where workers self-select in the educational occupation in a way which is correlated with their beliefs about the working of the market economy. Teachers have a disproportionate effect on the transmission of beliefs. Therefore, they generate a bias which makes it harder for the population to learn the true parameters of the economy if these are favourable to the market economy. Two parameters determine this bias. Social entropy defines how predictable one's occupation is as a function of one's beliefs. Heritability is the weight of the family's beliefs in the determination of the priors of a new generation. Both heritability and social entropy reduce the bias and make it easier to learn that the market economy is "good", under the assumption that it is. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2010.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 544 (05)
Pages: 325-353

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:544:p:325-353
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  1. Roland Bénabou & Efe A. Ok, 2001. "Social Mobility And The Demand For Redistribution: The Poum Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 447-487, May.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2001. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1936, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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