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A Model of Ideological Transmission with Endogenous Paternalism



    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Universitµa degli Studi di Bologna, DSE, Bologna, Italy)


We develop a dynamic framework of ideological evolution in a two-trait population of perfect foresight individuals. We model how children are educated to a specific ideological trait, liberal or traditional, which later in life will influence the level of economic activity and therefore the well-being of the family. Our aim is to study the dynamics of ideological traits when an exchange matching process takes place. We show that the ideological distance between groups, namely taste for similarity within the family, determines the long-run distribution of traits as well as the intertemporal parents' behaviour in the intergenerational transmission process. With respect to the existing works on cultural transmission, the singularity of our model appears through the situation in which parents' paternalism in children education is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to guarantee diversity or preservation of heterogeneity in the long run distribution of traits. In particular, when the taste for similarity within the family is sufficiently low, the intertemporal evolution of traits modifies the trade-off between preservation of ideological beliefs and exchange level in the matching process. Hence, when the opportunity cost to have children of the same type is high, altruistic parents do not promote their variant even though their are biased towards their own ideological beliefs. Assuming myopic agents does not change the qualitative results of the model

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo MELINDI GHIDI, 2009. "A Model of Ideological Transmission with Endogenous Paternalism," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2009043, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2009043

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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," Post-Print halshs-00754788, HAL.

    More about this item


    Ideological Transmission; Taste for Similarity; Paternalism; Diversity;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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