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Exposure to Foreign Media and Changes in Cultural Traits: Evidence from Naming Patterns in France

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  • Disdier, Anne-Célia
  • Head, Keith
  • Mayer, Thierry

Abstract

Free trade in audio-visual services has faced opposition on the grounds that foreign media undermine domestic culture, and ultimately, global diversity. We assess the media-culture link using name frequencies as a measure of tastes. Using a 47-year panel of French birth registries, we first show that names appearing on television shows, movies, or in songs are about five times more popular than other names. Most, but not all, of this relationship arises from endogeneity: song and script writers, as well as performers and their parents, select names that would be popular anyways. Using name attributes, fixed effects, and lagged popularity as controls, our regression results suggest that media affect choices by informing parents of unfamiliar names.

Suggested Citation

  • Disdier, Anne-Célia & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2006. "Exposure to Foreign Media and Changes in Cultural Traits: Evidence from Naming Patterns in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 5674, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5674
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2008. "Detection Of Local Interactions From The Spatial Pattern Of Names In France," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 67-95.
    2. Andreu Mas-Colell, 1999. "Should Cultural Goods Be Treated Differently?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 23(1), pages 87-93, March.
    3. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 941-964.
    4. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2010. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 226-238.
    5. Olivier, Jacques & Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2008. "Globalization and the dynamics of cultural identity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 356-370, December.
    6. Maystre, Nicolas & Olivier, Jacques & Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "Product-based cultural change: Is the village global?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 212-230.
    7. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2009. "Neckties in the tropics: a model of international trade and cultural diversity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(3), pages 809-843, August.
    8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    9. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805.
    10. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 11195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    12. Eckhard Janeba, 2004. "International Trade and Cultural Identity," NBER Working Papers 10426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
    14. Janeba, Eckhard, 2007. "International trade and consumption network externalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 781-803, May.
    15. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    16. Bala, Venkatesh & Van Long, Ngo, 2005. "International trade and cultural diversity with preference selection," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 143-162, March.
    17. Francois, Patrick & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "On the protection of cultural goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 359-369, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stepan Jurajda & Dejan Kovac, 2016. "What's in a Name in a War," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp573, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. Algan, Yann & Hémet, Camille & Laitin, David D., 2011. "Diversity and Public Goods: A Natural Experiment with Exogenous Residential Allocation," IZA Discussion Papers 6053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Esther Hauk & Giovanni Immordino, 2014. "Parents, Television and Cultural Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(579), pages 1040-1065, September.
    4. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2008. "Detection Of Local Interactions From The Spatial Pattern Of Names In France," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 67-95.
    5. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "What separates us? Sources of resistance to globalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1196-1231, November.
    6. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2010. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 226-238, March.
    7. Hellmanzik, Christiane & Schmitz, Martin, 2015. "Virtual proximity and audiovisual services trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 82-101.
    8. Fernando Ferreira & Joel Waldfogel, 2010. "Pop Internationalism: Has A Half Century of World Music Trade Displaced Local Culture?," NBER Working Papers 15964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Maystre, Nicolas & Olivier, Jacques & Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "Product-based cultural change: Is the village global?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 212-230.
    10. Maria MASOOD, 2014. "New Evidence on Development and Cultural Trade: Diversification, Reconcentration and Domination," Working Papers P85, FERDI.
    11. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10141 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Olivier, Jacques & Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2008. "Globalization and the dynamics of cultural identity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 356-370, December.
    13. Eiji Yamamura & Inyong Shin, 2016. "Effect of consuming imported cultural goods on trading partners’ tolerance toward immigrants: the case of Japanese anime in Korea," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(4), pages 681-703, November.
    14. Janeba, Eckhard, 2007. "International trade and consumption network externalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 781-803, May.
    15. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8mcn8chn is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cinema; cultural transmission; endogenous tastes; popular music; television;

    JEL classification:

    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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