Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Cultural Transmission and Discrimination

Author(s): Maria Sáez-Martí and Yves Zenou

Publication Date: January 2010

Keyword(s): ghetto culture, multiple equilibria, overlapping generations, peer effects and rational expectations

Programme Area(s): Labour Economics and Public Economics

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 on the trait and the social environment where children live. We show that, if a high enough proportion of employers have taste-based prejudices against minority workers, their prejudices are always self-fulfilled in steady state. Affirmative Action improves the welfare of minorities whereas integration is beneficial to minority workers but detrimental to workers from the majority group. If Affirmative Action quotas are high enough or integration is strong enough, employers' negative stereotypes cannot be sustained in steady-state.

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Bibliographic Reference

Sáez-Martí, M and Zenou, Y. 2010. 'Cultural Transmission and Discrimination'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.