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Marti, Maria Saez (2010). Models. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 495, University of Zurich.

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.

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.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:July 2010
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 15:09
Last Modified:05 Apr 2017 23:07
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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