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Social connections and cultural heterogeneity

Jiabin Wu ()

Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2019, vol. 29, issue 2, No 11, 779-798

Abstract: Abstract This paper proposes an evolutionary model in which the assortativity level of matching is endogenously determined. We consider a population consisting of two cultural groups. Each group has a leader who aims to maximize the group’s average fitness by exerting costly effort to enhance either within-group or cross-group social connections. Within-group social connections increase the assortativity level of matching and promote segregation, while cross-group social connections decrease the assortativity level of matching and encourage integration. We find that the endogenous process by which the assortativity level is determined can generate an intermediate level of assortativity that is neither complete segregation nor maximal integration and lead to a rich set of cultural phenomena including cultural heterogeneity, which cannot be accounted for in many cases if the assortativity level is given exogenously.

Keywords: Social connections; Cultural heterogeneity; Assortative matching; Cultural leaders; Evolutionary game theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C73 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Working Paper: Social Connections and Cultural Heterogeneity (2016) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1007/s00191-018-0597-x

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