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The role of social networks in cultural assimilation

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  • Verdier, Thierry
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

We develop a model where, in the first stage, minority individuals have to decide whether or not they want to assimilate to the majority culture while, in the second stage, all individuals (both from the majority and the minority group) embedded in a network have to decide how much effort they exert in some activity (say education). We show that the more central minority agents are located in the social network, the more they assimilate to the majority culture. We also show that denser networks tend to favor assimilation so that, for example, it is easier to assimilate in a complete network than in a star-shaped network. We show that the subgame-perfect equilibrium is not optimal because there is not enough activity and assimilation. We then endogeneize the network and show under which condition the ethnic minorities either assimilate to or separated themselves from the majority group.

Suggested Citation

  • Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "The role of social networks in cultural assimilation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 15-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:15-39
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2016.11.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Bend it like Beckham: Ethnic identity and integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 146-164.
    2. Biavaschi, Costanza & Giulietti, Corrado & Zenou, Yves, 2021. "Social Networks and (Political) Assimilation in the Age of Mass Migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 16182, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Sato, Yasuhiro & Zenou, Yves, 2020. "Assimilation patterns in cities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    4. Mariko Nakagawa & Yasuhiro Sato & Kazuhiro Yamamoto, 2019. "Segregation and Public Spending under Social Identification," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1132, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    5. Olcina, Gonzalo & Panebianco, Fabrizio & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "Conformism, Social Norms and the Dynamics of Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12166, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Efthymia Kyriakopoulou & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2021. "Natural Resource Management: A Network Perspective," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 80(2), pages 221-256, October.
    7. Grossmann, Jakub & Jurajda, Štepán & Roesel, Felix, 2021. "Forced Migration, Staying Minorities, and New Societies: Evidence from Post-War Czechoslovakia," IZA Discussion Papers 14191, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Bezin, Emeline & Moizeau, Fabien, 2017. "Cultural dynamics, social mobility and urban segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 173-187.
    9. Siiri Silm & Veronika Mooses & Anniki Puura & Anu Masso & Ago Tominga & Erki Saluveer, 2021. "The Relationship between Ethno-Linguistic Composition of Social Networks and Activity Space: A Study Using Mobile Phone Data," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 9(2), pages 192-207.
    10. Bhowmik, Anuj & Sen, Arijit, 2022. "Segmented assimilation: a minority's dilemma," MPRA Paper 111655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2018. "Diversity and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 11553, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Annie Tubadji & Toby Denney & Don J. Webber, 2021. "Cultural relativity in consumers' rates of adoption of artificial intelligence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 59(3), pages 1234-1251, July.
    13. Kazutoshi Miyazawa & Hikaru Ogawa & Toshiki Tamai, 2018. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Sustainability," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1104, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    14. Hong, Jieying & Zhang, Rui, 2021. "Socialization, job search and integration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    15. Veronika Mooses & Siiri Silm & Tiit Tammaru & Erki Saluveer, 2020. "An ethno-linguistic dimension in transnational activity space measured with mobile phone data," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 7(1), pages 1-13, December.
    16. NAKAGAWA Mariko & SATO Yasuhiro & TABUCHI Takatoshi & YAMAMOTO Kazuhiro, 2020. "Do People Accept Different Cultures?," Discussion papers 20090, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    17. Itoh, Ryo & Sato, Yasuhiro & Zenou, Yves, 2021. "Intergenerational Assimilation of Minorities: The Role of the Majority Group," CEPR Discussion Papers 16830, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Assimilation; Majority individuals; Ethnic minorities; Network centrality; Network formation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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