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Cultural transmission and discrimination


Sáez-Martí, María; Zenou, Yves (2012). Cultural transmission and discrimination. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics 348, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Workers can have good or bad work habits. These traits are transmitted from one generation to the next through a learning and imitation process, which depends on parents' investment in the trait and the social environment where children live. We show that if a sufficiently high proportion of employers have taste-based prejudices against minority workers, their prejudices are always self-fulfilled in steady state and minority workers end up having, on average, worse work habits than majority workers. This leads to a ghetto culture. Affirmative Action can improve the welfare of minorities whereas integration can be beneficial to minority workers but detrimental to workers from the majority group.

Abstract

Workers can have good or bad work habits. These traits are transmitted from one generation to the next through a learning and imitation process, which depends on parents' investment in the trait and the social environment where children live. We show that if a sufficiently high proportion of employers have taste-based prejudices against minority workers, their prejudices are always self-fulfilled in steady state and minority workers end up having, on average, worse work habits than majority workers. This leads to a ghetto culture. Affirmative Action can improve the welfare of minorities whereas integration can be beneficial to minority workers but detrimental to workers from the majority group.

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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
JEL Classification:J15, J71
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ghetto culture, overlapping generations, rational expectations, multiple equilibria, peer effects
Language:English
Date:April 2012
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 10:15
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
Number of Pages:27
ISSN:1424-0459
Additional Information:Revised version
Official URL:http://www.iew.unizh.ch/wp/iewwp348.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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