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Models

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  • María Sáez Martí

Abstract

I construct a theory of cultural transmission in which culture acquisition takes place in two stages, first in the family where parents transmit their own culture, and later in society where children are exposed to a wider set of cultural models. The role of models is to provide information about alternatives. Cultural variants differ in how strongly they are transmitted in the family and on how attractive they are to the children’s eyes. Attractiveness may depend on the actual models one can observe. I characterise the long run distribution of variants using directed trees and show that more visible cultural variants will have larger shares. Shares are also increasing in attractiveness and in family strength. When attractiveness is not context specific, variants competing with a wider set of variants, everything else equal, will have larger shares provided that copying is bidirectional. Expanding the set of models does not necessarily lead to annincrease in shares.

Suggested Citation

  • María Sáez Martí, 2010. "Models," IEW - Working Papers 495, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:495
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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_iew/iewwp495.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. María Sáez-Martí & Anna Sjögren, 2008. "Peers and Culture," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cultural transmission; role models; learning;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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