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Social Networks and Parental Behavior in the Intergenerational Transmission of Religion

  • Patacchini, Eleonora


    (Cornell University)

  • Zenou, Yves


    (Stockholm University)

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 substitutability. 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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5787.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5787
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  1. Lehrer, Evelyn L., 2004. "Religion as a Determinant of Economic and Demographic Behavior in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1390, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. Jellal, Mohamed & Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2002. "Cultural evolutionary altruism: theory and evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 241-262, June.
  4. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Juvenile Delinquency and Conformism," Working Papers 2010.59, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Durlauf,S.N., 2003. "Neighborhood effects," Working papers 17, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2005. "Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions, or Minorities?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 922-948, December.
  7. Kata Mihaly, 2009. "Do More Friends Mean Better Grades?: Student Popularity and Academic Achievement," Working Papers 678, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  8. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and persistence of oppositional identities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1046-1071.
  9. Ronen Bar-El & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Yossef Tobol, 2010. "The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility. Theory, Simulations and Evidence," Papers on Economics of Religion 10/03, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
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  11. Hauk, Esther & Saez-Marti, Maria, 2002. "On the Cultural Transmission of Corruption," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 311-335, December.
  12. Bramoullé, Yann & Djebbari, Habiba & Fortin, Bernard, 2007. "Identification of Peer Effects through Social Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 2652, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Olcina, Gonzalo & Penarrubia, Concepcion, 2004. "Hold up and intergenerational transmission of preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 111-132, May.
  14. Yannis M. Ioannides & Giorgio Topa, 2010. "Neighborhood Effects: Accomplishments And Looking Beyond Them," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 343-362.
  15. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 1998. "On the cultural transmission of preferences for social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 75-97, October.
  16. 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).
  17. Cohen-Zada, Danny, 2006. "Preserving religious identity through education: Economic analysis and evidence from the US," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 372-398, November.
  18. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2010. "Bend It Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 8054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. repec:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:2:p:507-48 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Gary Solon & Marianne E. Page & Greg J. Duncan, 2000. "Correlations Between Neighboring Children In Their Subsequent Educational Attainment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 383-392, August.
  21. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  22. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  23. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Neuman, Shoshana, 2006. "Intergenerational Transmission of 'Religious Capital': Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 2183, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. 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.
  25. Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Religious Intermarriage and Socialization in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 615-664, June.
  26. Francois, P. & Zabojnik, J., 2003. "Trust, Social Capital and Economic Development," Discussion Paper 2003-116, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  27. Xiaodong Liu & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou & Lung-Fei Lee, 2012. "Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?," Working Papers 2012.39, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  28. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2007. "From Farmers to Merchants, Conversions and Diaspora: Human Capital and Jewish History," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 885-926, 09.
  29. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. 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.
  31. Xu Lin, 2010. "Identifying Peer Effects in Student Academic Achievement by Spatial Autoregressive Models with Group Unobservables," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 825-860, October.
  32. Lehrer, Evelyn L., 2008. "The Role of Religion in Economic and Demographic Behavior in the United States: A Review of the Recent Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 3541, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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