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Detection of local interactions from the spatial pattern of names in France

  • Keith Head

    (Sauder School of Business [British Columbia])

  • Thierry Mayer

Using data on the geographic distribution of names in France, we investigate the social transmission of parental preferences. Drawing on recent work on nonmarket interactions, we develop a linear discrete choice model that relates choices made in one location to those made in nearby areas. We explain the shares of parents that give their children Saint, Arabic, and American-type names. We also examine the effect of distance between locations on differences in naming patterns. We find that the importance of geographic distance is declining over time while differences in class and national origins have increasing explanatory power.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/10161.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Regional Science, 2008, vol. 48, pp.67-95
Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/10161
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  1. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2002. "A multinomial choice model of neighborhood effects," Working papers 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are emily and greg more employable than lakisha and jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination," Natural Field Experiments 00216, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2004. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," Development Working Papers 186, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  4. Keith Head & Anne-Célia Disdier & Thierry Mayer, 2009. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10141, Sciences Po.
  5. 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.
  6. repec:oup:restud:v:68:y:2001:i:2:p:235-60 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1999. "Measuring Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1878, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1999. "Externalities and Cities," Annual Meeting Plenary 1999-3, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Durlauf, Steven N., 2004. "Neighborhood effects," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 50, pages 2173-2242 Elsevier.
  11. repec:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:3:p:767-805 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 11195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2000. "Non-Europe : The Magnitude and Causes of Market Fragmentation in the EU," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00267441, HAL.
  14. repec:oup:restud:v:60:y:1993:i:3:p:531-42 is not listed on IDEAS
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