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A dynamic model of cultural assimilation

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  • Istvan Konya

    () (Boston College
    Boston College)

Abstract

The paper analyzes the population dynamics of a country that has two ethnic groups, a minority and a majority. Minority members can choose whether or not to assimilate into the majority. If the minority is small, the long-run outcome is full assimilation. When the minority is large, the unique long-run equilibrium is the initial situation. For intermediate minority sizes multiple equilibria are possible, including the full- and no-assimilation ones. The paper also solves the social planner's problem, which indicates that the country can end up in an inefficient steady state. Even if the steady state is the optimal one, the equilibrium path will be suboptimal. Two extensions to the basic model are considered. The first one allows for a comparison between a multicultural and a "melting pot" society. The second one introduces population growth and studies the interplay between exogenous and endogenous changes in the minority's size.

Suggested Citation

  • Istvan Konya, 2002. "A dynamic model of cultural assimilation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 546, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:546
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    File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC-P/wp546.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 95-126, December.
    2. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, "undated". "The Productivity of Nations," Working Papers 96012, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jan K. Brueckner & Oleg Smirnov, 2008. "Social Networks And The Convergence Of Population Attributes: A Generalization," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 359-365.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cultural Assimilation; Population Dynamics; Ethnic Groups; Social Optimum Classification- JEL: D62; J15; Z19;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other

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