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Social Networks and Parental Behavior in the Intergenerational Transmission of Religion

  • Patacchini, Eleonora
  • Zenou, Yves

We analyze the intergenerational transmission of the strength of religion focusing on the interplay between family and peer effects. We develop a theoretical model suggesting that both peer quality and parental effort are of importance for the religious behavior of the children. We then bring the model to the data by using a very detailed dataset of adolescent friendship networks in the United States. We find that, for religious parents, the higher is the fraction of religious peers, the more parents put effort in transmitting their religiosity, indicating cultural complementarity. For non-religious parents, we obtain the reverse, indicating cultural substituability. Concerning the success in transmitting the religious trait, we find that, for religious parents, the fraction of religious peers has only an indirect effect (through parental effort) while, for non-religious parents, there is a lower indirect effect and a statistically significant and sizeable direct effect of peers on the transmission of the non-religious trait.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8443.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8443
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  1. Kata Mihaly, 2009. "Do More Friends Mean Better Grades?: Student Popularity and Academic Achievement," Working Papers 678, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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  8. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Neighborhood effects and parental involvement in the intergenerational transmission of education," Working Papers 2010/47, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
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  10. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and Persistence of Oppositional Identities," CEPR Discussion Papers 8380, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
  12. Alberto Bisin & Eleonora Patacchini & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Bend It Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1025, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  13. Francois, P. & Zabojnik, J., 2003. "Trust, Social Capital and Economic Development," Discussion Paper 2003-116, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Liu, Xiaodong & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves & Lee, Lung-Fei, 2011. "Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?," Research Papers in Economics 2011:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
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  16. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2012. "Juvenile Delinquency and Conformism," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-31.
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  29. 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.
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  32. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
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