DP9416 The Economic Incentives of Cultural Transmission: Spatial Evidence from Naming Patterns across France
|Author(s):||Yann Algan, Clément Malgouyres, Thierry Mayer, Mathias Thoenig|
|Publication Date:||April 2013|
|Date Revised:||November 2020|
|Keyword(s):||Culture, Social Interaction|
|Programme Areas:||Public Economics, International Trade and Regional Economics|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9416|
This paper studies how economic incentives influence cultural transmission, using a crucial expression of cultural identity: Child naming decisions. Our focus is on Arabic versus Non-Arabic names given in France over the 2003-2007 period. Our model of cultural transmission features three determinants: (i) vertical (parental) cultural transmission culture; (ii) horizontal (neighborhood) influence; (iii) information on the economic penalty associated with Arabic names. We find that economic incentives largely influence naming choices: Would the parental expectation on the economic penalty be zero, the annual number of babies born with an Arabic name would be more than 50 percent larger.