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Parents, Television and Cultural Change

Esther Hauk () and Giovanni Immordino ()

UFAE and IAE Working Papers from Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC)

Abstract: This paper develops a model of cultural transmission where television plays a central role for socialization. Parents split their free time between educating their children which is costly and watching TV which though entertaining might socialize the children to the wrong trait. The free to air television industry maximizes advertisement revenue. We show that TV watching is increasing in cultural coverage, cost of education, TV's entertainment value and decreasing in the perceived cultural distance between the two traits. A monopolistic television industry captures all TV watching by both groups if the perceived cultural distance between groups is small relative to the TV's entertainment value. Otherwise, more coverage will be given to the most profitable group where profitability increases in group size, advertisement sensitivity and perceived cultural distance. This leads to two possible steady states where one group is larger but both groups survive in the long run. Competition in the media industry might lead to cultural extinction but only if one group is very insensitive to advertisement and not radical enough not to watch TV. We briefly discuss the existing evidence for the empirical predictions of the model.

Keywords: television; socialization; cultural trait dynamics; media coverage. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z1 D03 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42
Date: 2011-03-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul and nep-evo
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Related works:
Journal Article: Parents, Television and Cultural Change (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Parents, Television and Cultural Change (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Parents, Television and Cultural Change
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