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Detection of Local Interactions from the Spatial Pattern of Names in France

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  • Head, Keith
  • Mayer, Thierry

Abstract

Using data on name distributions in 95 French departments observed from 1946 to 2002, we investigate spatial and social mechanisms behind the transmission of parental preferences. Drawing inspiration from recent work on social interactions, we develop a simple discrete choice model that predicts a linear relationship between choices by agents in one location and the choices made in neighbouring areas. We explain the shares of parents that give their children Saint, Arabic, and American-type names. In a second exercise we examine the effect of distance between locations on differences in name-type shares. In our last exercise we consider dissimilarity in actual names rather than name-types. Using Manhattan Distances as our metric, we find a steady and substantial decline in the importance of geographic distance. Meanwhile, differences in class and national origins have increasing explanatory power.

Suggested Citation

  • Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2007. "Detection of Local Interactions from the Spatial Pattern of Names in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 6340, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6340
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2000. "Non-Europe: The magnitude and causes of market fragmentation in the EU," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 136(2), pages 284-314, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    4. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2001. "Externalities and Cities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 245-274, April.
    5. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2001. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 235-260.
    6. 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.
    7. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 11195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Durlauf, Steven N., 2004. "Neighborhood effects," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 50, pages 2173-2242 Elsevier.
    11. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2002. "A Multinomial-Choice Model of Neighborhood Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 298-303, May.
    12. 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.
    13. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1999. "Measuring Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1878, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    14. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2008. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 37-48, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2010. "Social Interactions," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 451-478, September.
    2. Alessandra Cassar & Giovanna d'Adda & Pauline Grosjean, 2014. "Institutional Quality, Culture, and Norms of Cooperation: Evidence from Behavioral Field Experiments," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(3), pages 821-863.
    3. 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.
    4. Pauline Grosjean & Claudia Senik, 2011. "Democracy, Market Liberalization, and Political Preferences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 365-381, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Alberto Bisin & Andrea Moro & Giorgio Topa, 2011. "The empirical content of models with multiple equilibria in economies with social interactions," Staff Reports 504, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    7. Yann Algan & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2013. "The Economic Incentives of Cultural Transmission: Spatial Evidence from Naming Patterns across France," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/bakbbitll86, Sciences Po.
    8. Olivetti, Claudia & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2013. "In the Name of the Son (and the Daughter): Intergenerational Mobility in the United States, 1850-1930," CEPR Discussion Papers 9372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Alessandra Cassar & Giovanna d'Adda & Pauline Grosjean, 2013. "Institutional Quality, Culture, and Norms of Cooperation: Evidence from a Behavioral Field Experiment," Discussion Papers 2013-10, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    10. Yann Algan & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2013. "The Economic Incentives of Cultural Transmission: Spatial : Spatial Evidence from Naming Patterns across France," Working Papers 2013-25, CEPII research center.
    11. Eve Sihra, 2017. "Consumption, Social Interactions and Preferences," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1ej8deo44v9, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conformity; Cultural transmission; Diffusion; Geography; Neighbourhood effects; Social economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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