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Vertical Transmission Of Consumption Behavior And The Distribution Of Surnames


  • Andrés Romeu

    () (Universidad de Alicante)

  • M. Dolores Collado

    () (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Ignacio Ortuño Ortín

    (Universidad de Alicante)


This paper attempts to detect the existence of links in consumptionpreferences between generations. Preferences for consumption goods may bedetermined by the preferences of parents (vertical transmission) and/or bypreferences arising from the environment (horizontal transmission). Wepropose an indirect methodology to overcome the lack of data on consumptionchoices of dynasties, i.e., parents and their adult offspring. This new approachis based on the analysis of the correlation between the geographicaldistributions of surnames and consumption choices. Our results show that thereis horizontal transmission of preferences regarding non-food items and possiblyvertical transmission for food items.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Romeu & M. Dolores Collado & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín, 2006. "Vertical Transmission Of Consumption Behavior And The Distribution Of Surnames," Working Papers. Serie AD 2006-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2006-09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Browning & M. Dolores Collado, 2001. "The Response of Expenditures to Anticipated Income Changes: Panel Data Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 681-692, June.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-758.
    3. 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.
    4. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2003. "The Correlation of Wealth across Generations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1155-1182, December.
    5. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 184-224, December.
    6. Andreas Waldkirch & Serena Ng & Donald Cox, 2004. "Intergenerational Linkages in Consumption Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    7. 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.
    8. Liran Einav & Leeat Yariv, 2004. "What's in a Surname? The Effect of Surname Initials on Academic Success," UCLA Economics Working Papers 835, UCLA Department of Economics.
    9. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    10. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-763, Part I Ju.
    12. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Desmet, Klaus & Le Breton, Michel & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 2006. "Nation Formation and Genetic Diversity," IDEI Working Papers 133, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    2. Maia Güell & José V. Rodriguez Mora & Chris Telmer, 2007. "Intergenerational mobility and the informative content of surnames," Economics Working Papers 1042, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Klaus Desmet & Michel Le Breton & Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Shlomo Weber, 2008. "Stability of Nations and Genetic Diversity," Working Papers 003-08, International School of Economics at TSU, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
    5. Klaus Desmet & Michel Breton & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2011. "The stability and breakup of nations: a quantitative analysis," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 183-213, September.

    More about this item


    Preference formation; surnames; vertical and horizontal transmission.;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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