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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics: Vol. 2 No. 4 (November 2010)

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Intergenerational Cultural Transmission as an Evolutionary Game

Article Citation

Montgomery, James D. 2010. "Intergenerational Cultural Transmission as an Evolutionary Game." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 2(4): 115-36.

DOI: 10.1257/mic.2.4.115

Abstract

We generalize the Bisin-Verdier model of intergenerational transmission to permit an arbitrary number of cultural traits. A key observation—that this model is equivalent to an evolutionary game under replicator dynamics—facilitates our analysis. For two special cases, obtained by restricting the pattern of "cultural distastes" between traits, we demonstrate global stability of the long-run distribution of traits using recent results on stable games and potential games. For the general three-trait case, we show that all three traits survive in the long run only if each trait satisfies an "invasion condition" involving the cultural distaste parameters. (JEL C73, D91, Z13)

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Authors

Montgomery, James D. (U WI)

JEL Classifications

C73: Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games
D91: Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification

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