The Economic Incentives of Cultural Transmission: Spatial: Spatial Evidence from Naming Patterns across France
Yann Algan (),
Thierry Mayer () and
Mathias Thoenig ()
Working Papers from CEPII research center
This paper aims at studying how economic incentives influence cultural transmission. We do so in the context of naming decisions, a crucial expression of cultural identity. Our focus is on Arabic versus Non- Arabic names given by parents to their newborn babies in France over the 2003-2007 period. Our model of cultural transmission disentangles between three determinants: (i) vertical transmission of parental culture; (ii) horizontal influence from the neighborhood; (iii) economic penalty associated with names that sound culturally distinctive. Our identification is based on the sample of households being exogenously allocated across public housings dwellings. We find that economic incentives largely influence naming choices: In the absence of economic penalty, the annual number of babies born with an Arabic name would have been more than 50 percent larger. Our theory-based estimates allow us to perform a welfare analysis where we gauge the strength of cultural attachment in monetary units. We find that the vertical transmission of an Arabic name provides the same shift in parents’ utility as a 3% rise in lifetime income of the child.
Keywords: Cultural transmission; Choice of first names (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-eur, nep-evo and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (21) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cii:cepidt:2013-25
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Papers from CEPII research center Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().