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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. repec:eee:juecon:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:173-187 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bezin, Emeline & Moizeau, Fabien, 2017. "Cultural dynamics, social mobility and urban segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 173-187.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Assimilation; Majority individuals; Ethnic minorities; Network centrality; Network formation;

    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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