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Conformism, Social Segregation and Cultural Assimilation

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Abstract

I develop and calibrate a model for the joint determination of cultural assimilation and social segregation of a minority. Culture evolves as a consequence of a disutility from non-conformism in social matchings, while social networks form endogenously as a result of exclusion of individuals with different beliefs and norms of behavior. The model delivers idiosyncratic assimilation patterns and the persistence of some cultural traits. I propose two measures of cultural assimilation, one for spatial comparisons and a second to assess assimilation over time. The model implies that cultural assimilation is weaker in pluralistic and denser societies, and it is not influenced by the minority share. Social segregation increases with social density and with the minority share, and it is higher for culturally more distant minorities. I compute both assimilation measures for a cross-section of European countries and show that the model is able to match the empirical evidence on assimilation.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Flaviano Russo, 2021. "Conformism, Social Segregation and Cultural Assimilation," CSEF Working Papers 616, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:616
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    Keywords

    Culture; Distance; Evolution.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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