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Endogenous Indoctrination: Occupational Choice, the Evolution of Beliefs, and the Political Economy of Reform

  • Saint-Paul, Gilles

I analyse a model where workers self-select in the educational occupation in a way which is correlated with their beliefs about the working of the market economy. Teachers have a disproportionate effect on the transmission of beliefs. Therefore, they generate a bias which makes it harder for the population to learn the true parameters of the economy if these are favourable to the market economy. Two parameters determine this bias. Social entropy defines how predictable one's occupation is as a function of one's beliefs. Heritability is the weight of the family's beliefs in the determination of the priors of a new generation. Both heritability and social entropy reduce the bias and make it easier to learn that the market economy is "good", under the assumption that it is. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2010.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 556.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Publication status: Published in The Economic Journal, vol.�120, n°544, mai 2010, p.�325-353.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:20811
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Working Papers 178, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The POUM Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 6795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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