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Cultural transmission and discrimination

  • Sáez-Martı´, Maria
  • Zenou, Yves

Workers can have good or bad work habits. These traits are transmitted from one generation to the next through a learning and imitation process, which depends on parents’ investment in the trait and the social environment where children live. If a sufficiently high proportion of employers have taste-based prejudices against minority workers, we show that their prejudices are always self-fulfilled in steady state and minority workers end up having, on average, worse work habits than majority workers. This leads to a ghetto culture. Affirmative Action can improve the welfare of minorities whereas integration can be beneficial to minority workers but detrimental to workers from the majority group.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094119012000319
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 72 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 137-146

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:72:y:2012:i:2:p:137-146
DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2012.04.005
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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