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The economics of cultural transmission and the dynamics of preferences. (English) Zbl 0991.91060
Summary: The authors study the population dynamics of preference traits in a model of inter-generational cultural transmission. Parents socialize and transmit their preferences to their offspring, motivated by a form of paternalistic altruism (“imperfect empathy”). In such a setting they study the long run stationary state pattern of preferences in the population, according to various solicalization mechanisms and institutions, and identify sufficient conditions for the global stability of a heterogeneous stationary distribution of the preference traits.
The authors show that cultural transmission mechanisms have very different implications than evolutionary selection mechanisms with respect to the dynamics of the distribution of the traits in the population, and study mechanisms which interact evolutionary selection and cultural transmission.

MSC:
91D10 Models of societies, social and urban evolution
91B08 Individual preferences
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