1932

Abstract

In this article we survey recent advances in the economic theory of cultural transmission. We highlight three main themes on which the literature has made great progress in the last 10 years: the domain of traits subject to cultural transmission; the microfoundations for the technology of transmission; and feedback effects between culture, institutions, and various socioeconomic environments. We conclude by suggesting interesting areas for future research.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-090622-100258
2023-09-13
2024-06-24
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/economics/15/1/annurev-economics-090622-100258.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-090622-100258&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Acemoglu D. 2003. Why not a political Coase theorem? Social conflict, commitment, and politics. J. Comp. Econ. 31:620–52
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Acemoglu D. 2009. Introduction to Modern Economic Growth Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Acemoglu D, Egorov G, Sonin K. 2010. Political selection and persistence of bad governments. Q. J. Econ. 125:41511–75
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Acemoglu D, Egorov G, Sonin K. 2021. Institutional change and institutional persistence. See Bisin & Federico 2021 365–89
  5. Acemoglu D, Johnson S, Robinson JA. 2006. Institutions as the fundamental cause of long-run growth. Handbook of Economic Growth, Vol. 1A P Aghion, S Durlauf 386–472. Amsterdam: Elsevier
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Acemoglu D, Robinson JA. 2000. Why did the West extend the franchise? Democracy, inequality, and growth in historical perspective. Q. J. Econ. 115:41167–99
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Acemoglu D, Robinson JA. 2001. A theory of political transitions. Am. Econ. Rev. 91:4938–63
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Acemoglu D, Robinson JA. 2006. Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Acemoglu D, Robinson JA. 2008. Persistence of power, elites, and institutions. Am. Econ. Rev. 98:1267–93
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Acemoglu D, Robinson JA. 2022. Culture, institutions and social equilibria: a framework NBER Work. Pap. 28832
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Adriani F, Matheson JA, Sonderegger S. 2018. Teaching by example and induced beliefs in a model of cultural transmission. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 145:511–29
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Adriani F, Sonderegger S. 2018. Signaling about norms: socialization under strategic uncertainty. Scand. J. Econ. 120:3685–716
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Aghion P, Algan Y, Cahuc P. 2011. Civil society and the state: the interplay between cooperation and minimum wage regulation. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 9:13–42
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Aghion P, Algan Y, Cahuc P, Shleifer A. 2010. Regulation and distrust. Q. J. Econ. 125:31015–49
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Aghion P, Howitt PW. 2008. The Economics of Growth Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Akerlof G, Kranton R. 2000. Economics and identity. Q. J. Econ. 115:3715–53
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Alesina A, Algan Y, Cahuc P, Giuliano P. 2015. Family values and the regulation of labor. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 13:4599–630
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Alesina A, Giuliano P. 2015. Culture and institutions. J. Econ. Lit. 53:4898–944
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Alesina A, Giuliano P, Reich B. 2021. Nation-building and education. Econ. J. 131:6382273–303
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Alexander JC. 2003. The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology New York: Oxford Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Almagro M, Andrés-Cerezo D. 2020. The construction of national identities. Theor. Econ. 15:763–810
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Asano K. 2022. Trust and law in credit markets. Economica 89:354332–61
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Bandura A. 1993. Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educ. Psychol. 28:117–48
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Baudin T, Hiller V. 2019. On the dynamics of gender differences in preferences. Oxf. Econ. Pap. 71:3503–27
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Benabou R, Ticchi D, Vindigni A. 2015. Religion and innovation. Am. Econ. Rev. 105:5346–51
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Besley T. 2017. Aspirations and the political economy of inequality. Oxf. Econ. Pap. 69:1–35
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Besley T. 2020. State capacity, reciprocity, and the social contract. Econometrica 88:1307–35
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Besley T, Persson T. 2009. The origins of state capacity: property rights, taxation, and politics. Am. Econ. Rev. 99:41218–44
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Besley T, Persson T 2011a. Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Besley T, Persson T. 2011b. The logic of political violence. Q. J. Econ. 126:31411–45
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Besley T, Persson T. 2019a. Democratic values and institutions. Am. Econ. Rev. Insights 1:59–76
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Besley T, Persson T. 2019b. JEEA-FBBVA lecture: the dynamics of environmental politics and values. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 17:993–1024
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Besley T, Persson T 2020a. The joint dynamics of organizational culture, design, and performance Unpublished manuscript, London Sch. Econ. London:
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Besley T, Persson T 2020b. Escaping the climate trap? Values, technologies, and politics Unpublished manuscript, Stockholm Univ. Stockholm, Swed:.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Besley T, Persson T. 2021. The rise of identity politics: policy, political organization, and nationalist dynamics Unpublished manuscript, Stockholm Univ. Stockholm, Swed:.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Bezin E. 2015. A cultural model of private provision and the environment. J. Environ. Econ. Manag. 71:109–24
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Bezin E. 2019. The economics of green consumption, cultural transmission and sustainable technological change. J. Econ. Theory 181:497–546
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Bezin E, Moizeau F. 2017. Cultural dynamics, social mobility and urban segregation. J. Urban Econ. 99:173–87
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Bezin E, Verdier T, Zenou Y. 2022. Crime, broken families, and punishment. Am. Econ. J. Microecon. 14:4723–60
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Bidner C, Francois P. 2011. Cultivating trust: norms, institutions and the implications of scale. Econ. J. 121:5551097–129
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Bisin A. 2020. A comment on: “State capacity, reciprocity, and the social contract” by Timothy Besley.. Econometrica 88:41345–49
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Bisin A, Federico G 2021. The Handbook of Historical Economics Amsterdam: Elsevier
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Bisin A, Moro A. 2021. LATE for history. See Bisin & Federico 2021 269–96
  44. Bisin A, Patacchini E, Verdier T, Zenou Y. 2011. Formation and persistence of oppositional identities. Eur. Econ. Rev. 55:81046–71
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Bisin A, Rubin J, Seror A, Verdier T. 2020. Culture, institutions and the long divergence between Western Europe and the Middle East Unpublished manuscript, New York Univ. New York:
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Bisin A, Topa G, Verdier T. 2004. Religious intermarriage and socialization in the United States. J. Political Econ. 112:3615–64
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Bisin A, Topa G, Verdier T. 2009. Cultural transmission, socialization and the population dynamics of multiple-trait distributions. Int. J. Econ. Theory 5:1139–54
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Bisin A, Tura G. 2022. Marriage, fertility and cultural integration in Italy Unpublished manuscript, New York Univ. New York:
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Bisin A, Verdier T. 2000. Beyond the melting pot: cultural transmission, marriage, and the evolution of ethnic and religious traits. Q. J. Econ. 115:3955–88
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Bisin A, Verdier T. 2001. The economics of cultural transmission and the dynamics of preferences. J. Econ. Theory 97:2298–319
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Bisin A, Verdier T. 2005. Work ethic and redistribution: a cultural transmission model of the welfare state Unpublished manuscript, New York Univ. New York:
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Bisin A, Verdier T 2010. The economics of cultural transmission and socialization. The Handbook of Social Economics J Benhabib, A Bisin, M Jackson 339–416. Amsterdam: Elsevier
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Bisin A, Verdier T. 2014. Trade and cultural diversity. Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture VA Ginsburgh, D Throsby 439–84. Amsterdam: Elsevier
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Bisin A, Verdier T. 2017. On the joint evolution of culture and institutions NBER Work. Pap. 23375
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Bisin A, Verdier T. 2021. Phase diagrams in historical economics: culture and institutions. See Bisin & Federico 2021 491–522
  56. Boyd R, Richerson PJ. 1985. Culture and the Evolutionary Process Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Brueckner J, Smirnov O. 2007. Workings of the melting pot: social networks and the evolution of population attributes. J. Reg. Sci. 47:2209–28
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Brueckner J, Smirnov O. 2008. Social networks and the convergence of population attributes: a generalization. J. Reg. Sci. 48:2359–65
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Buechel B, Hellmann T, Pichler MM. 2014. The dynamics of continuous cultural traits in social networks. J. Econ. Theory 154:274–309
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Buskell A, Enquist M, Jansson F. 2019. A systems approach to cultural evolution. Palgrave Commun. 5:131
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Cantoni D, Yuchtman N. 2021. Historical natural experiments: bridging economics and economic history. See Bisin & Federico 2021 213–41
  62. Carlin BI, Dorobantu F, Viswanathan S. 2009. Public trust, the law, and financial investment. J. Financ. Econ. 92:3321–41
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Carneiro RL. 2003. Evolutionism in Cultural Anthropology: A Critical History London: Routledge
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Cavalli-Sforza LL, Feldman MW 1973. Cultural versus biological inheritance: phenotypic transmission from parent to children. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 25:618–37
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Cavalli-Sforza LL, Feldman MW 1981. Cultural Transmission and Evolution: A Quantitative Approach Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Carvalho JP. 2016. Identity-based organizations. Am. Econ. Rev. 106:410–14
    [Google Scholar]
  67. Carvalho JP, Koyama M, Williams C 2022. Resisting education Unpublished manuscript, Oxford Univ. Oxford, UK:
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Carvalho JP, Sacks M. 2021. Radicalization Unpublished manuscript, Oxford Univ. Oxford, UK:
    [Google Scholar]
  69. Chakraborty S, Thompson JC, Yehoue EB. 2016. The culture of entrepreneurship. J. Econ. Theory 163:C288–317
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Cheung MW, Wu J. 2018. On the probabilistic transmission of continuous cultural traits. J. Econ. Theory 174:300–23
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Currarini S, Jackson MO, Pin P. 2009. An economic model of friendship: homophily, minorities, and segregation. Econometrica 77:41003–45
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Darity W, Mason P, Stewart JB. 2006. The economics of identity: the origin and persistence of racial identity norms. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 60:3283–305
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Della Lena S, Dindo P 2022. An economic model of acculturation under strategic complements and substitutes Unpublished manuscript, Monash Univ. Melbourne, Aust:.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Della Lena S, Manzoni E, Panebianco F 2021. On the transmission of guilt aversion and the evolution of trust Unpublished manuscript, Monash Univ. Melbourne, Aust:.
    [Google Scholar]
  75. Della Lena S, Panebianco F 2021. Cultural transmission with incomplete information. J. Econ. Theory 198:105373
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Delli Gatti D, Grazzini J, Massaro D, Panebianco F. 2022. The impact of growth on the transmission of patience CESifo Work. Pap. 9829, CESifo Munich, Ger:.
    [Google Scholar]
  77. DiMaggio P, Markus HR 2010. Culture and social psychology: converging perspectives. Soc. Psychol. Q. 73:347–52
    [Google Scholar]
  78. Doepke M, Zilibotti F. 2008. Occupational choice and the spirit of capitalism. Q. J. Econ. 123:2747–93
    [Google Scholar]
  79. Doepke M, Zilibotti F. 2014. Culture, entrepreneurship, and growth. The Handbook of Economic Growth P Aghion, S Durlauf 1–48. Amsterdam: Elsevier
    [Google Scholar]
  80. Doepke M, Zilibotti F. 2017. Parenting with style: altruism and paternalism in intergenerational preference transmission. Econometrica 85:51331–71
    [Google Scholar]
  81. Ellis C, Thompson JC, Wu J. 2020. Labor market characteristics and cultural choice. J. Public Econ. Theory 22:1584–617
    [Google Scholar]
  82. Fernandez R 2010. Does culture matter?. The Handbook of Social Economics J Benhabib, A Bisin, M Jackson 339–416. Amsterdam: Elsevier
    [Google Scholar]
  83. Francois P, Zabojnik J. 2005. Trust, social capital and the process of economic development. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 3:151–94
    [Google Scholar]
  84. Gale D, Shapley LS. 1962. College admissions and the stability of marriage. Am. Math. Mon. 69:19–15
    [Google Scholar]
  85. Giavazzi F, Petkov I, Schiantarelli F. 2019. Culture: persistence and evolution. J. Econ. Growth 24:117–54
    [Google Scholar]
  86. Gorodnichenko Y, Roland G. 2017. Culture, institutions, and the wealth of nations. Rev. Econ. Stat. 99:3402–16
    [Google Scholar]
  87. Goto H. 2022. Belief in egalitarianism and meritocracy Unpublished manuscript, Int. Univ. Japan, Minamiuonuma Jpn:.
    [Google Scholar]
  88. Greif A. 1989. Reputation and coalitions in medieval trade: evidence on the Maghribi traders. J. Econ. Hist. 49:4857–82
    [Google Scholar]
  89. Greif A. 1993. Contract enforceability and economic institutions in early trade: the Maghribi traders' coalition. Am. Econ. Rev. 83:3525–48
    [Google Scholar]
  90. Greif A, Tabellini G. 2017. The clan and the corporation: sustaining cooperation in China and Europe. J. Comp. Econ. 45:11–35
    [Google Scholar]
  91. Guirkinger C, Platteau JP, Wahhaj Z. 2021. Behind the veil of cultural persistence: marriage and divorce in a migrant community CEPR Discuss. Pap. 16347, Cent. Econ. Policy Res. London:
    [Google Scholar]
  92. Hauk E, Immordino G. 2014. Parents, television and cultural change. Econ. J. 124:5791040–65
    [Google Scholar]
  93. Hauk E, Mueller H. 2015. Cultural leaders and the clash of civilizations. J. Conflict Resolut. 59:3367–400
    [Google Scholar]
  94. Hauk E, Saez-Marti M. 2002. On the cultural transmission of corruption. J. Econ. Theory 107:311–35
    [Google Scholar]
  95. Henrich J, Gil-White FJ. 2001. The evolution of prestige: freely conferred deference as a mechanism for enhancing the benefits of cultural transmission. Evol. Hum. Behav. 22:3165–96
    [Google Scholar]
  96. Hiller V. 2011. Work organization, preferences dynamics and the industrialization process. Eur. Econ. Rev. 55:71007–25
    [Google Scholar]
  97. Hiller V, Baudin T. 2016. Cultural transmission and the evolution of gender roles. Math. Soc. Sci. 84:C8–23
    [Google Scholar]
  98. Hiller V, Wu J, Zhang H. 2021. Heterophily, stable matching, and intergenerational transmission in cultural evolution Unpublished manuscript, Univ. Paris II Panthéon-Assas Paris:
    [Google Scholar]
  99. Iyigun M, Rubin J, Seror A. 2021. A theory of cultural revivals. Eur. Econ. Rev. 135:103734
    [Google Scholar]
  100. Jansson F, Aguilar E, Acerbi A, Enquist M. 2021. Modelling cultural systems and selective filters. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. B 376:1828 https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0045
    [Google Scholar]
  101. Klasing MJ. 2014. Cultural change, risk-taking behavior and implications for economic development. J. Dev. Econ. 110:158–69
    [Google Scholar]
  102. Konya I. 2005. minorities and majorities: a dynamic model of assimilation. Can. J. Econ. 38:41431–52
    [Google Scholar]
  103. Kuper A. 1999. Culture: The Anthropologists' Account Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  104. Lazear EP. 1999. Culture and language. J. Political Econ. 107:695–126
    [Google Scholar]
  105. Lizzeri A, Siniscalchi M. 2008. Parental guidance and supervised learning. Q. J. Econ. 123:31161–95
    [Google Scholar]
  106. Maystre N, Olivier J, Thoenig M, Verdier T. 2014. Product-based cultural change: Is the village global?. J. Int. Econ. 92:2212–30
    [Google Scholar]
  107. Michaeli M, Wu J. 2022. Fighting polarization with (parental) internalization. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 194:124–38
    [Google Scholar]
  108. Michau JB. 2013. Unemployment insurance and cultural transmission: theory and application to European unemployment. J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 11:61320–47
    [Google Scholar]
  109. Migliaccio E, Verdier T. 2018. On the spatial diffusion of cooperation with endogenous matching institutions. Games 9:358
    [Google Scholar]
  110. Montgomery JD. 2010. Intergenerational cultural transmission as an evolutionary game. Am. Econ. J. Microecon. 2:4115–36
    [Google Scholar]
  111. North DC, Thomas RP. 1973. The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  112. Nunn N. 2021. History as evolution. See Bisin & Federico 2021 41–91
  113. Odling-Smee FJ, Laland KN, Feldman MW. 2003. Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
  114. Oechssler J, Riedel F. 2001. Evolutionary dynamics on infinite strategy spaces. Econ. Theory 17:141–62
    [Google Scholar]
  115. Olcina G, Penarrubia C. 2004. Hold-up and intergenerational transmission of preferences. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 54:111–32
    [Google Scholar]
  116. Olivier J, Thoenig M, Verdier T. 2008. Globalization and the dynamics of cultural identity. J. Int. Econ. 76:356–70
    [Google Scholar]
  117. Otto SP, Christiansen FB, Feldman MW. 1994. Genetic and cultural inheritance of continuous traits Work. Pap. 64, Morrison Inst. Popul. Resour. Stud., Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA:
    [Google Scholar]
  118. Panebianco F. 2014. Socialization networks and the transmission of interethnic attitudes. J. Econ. Theory 150:583–610
    [Google Scholar]
  119. Panebianco F, Verdier T. 2017. Paternalism, homophily and cultural transmission in random networks. Games Econ. Behav. 105:C155–76
    [Google Scholar]
  120. Pastor-Satorras R, Vespignani A 2003. Epidemics and immunization in scale-free networks. Handbook of Graphs and Networks: From the Genome to the Internet S Bornholdt, HG Schusterpp 111–30. Berlin: Wiley
    [Google Scholar]
  121. Prummer A, Siedlarek JP. 2017. Community leaders and the preservation of cultural traits. J. Econ. Theory 168:143–76
    [Google Scholar]
  122. Rapoport H, Sardoschau S, Silve A. 2020. Migration and cultural change CESifo Work. Pap. 8547, CESifo, Munich Ger:.
    [Google Scholar]
  123. Roland G. 2004. Understanding institutional change: fast-moving and slow-moving institutions. Stud. Comp. Int. Dev. 38:109–31
    [Google Scholar]
  124. Salazar V, Szentes B. 2021. On the coevolution of cooperation and social institutions Unpublished manuscript, London Sch. Econ. London:
    [Google Scholar]
  125. Sandholm WH. 2010. Population Games and Evolutionary Dynamics Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
    [Google Scholar]
  126. Schumacher I. 2015. The endogenous formation of an environmental culture. Eur. Econ. Rev. 76:200–21
    [Google Scholar]
  127. Seror A. 2018. A theory on the evolution of religious norms and economic prohibition. J. Dev. Econ. 134:416–27
    [Google Scholar]
  128. Seror A. 2022. Child development in parent-child interactions. J. Political Econ. 130:92462–99
    [Google Scholar]
  129. Shapley LS, Shubik M. 1971. The assignment game I: the core. Int. J. Game Theory 1:111–30
    [Google Scholar]
  130. Spiro D. 2020. Multigenerational transmission of culture. J. Econ. Theory 188:C105037
    [Google Scholar]
  131. Swidler A. 1986. Culture in action: symbols and strategies. Am. Sociol. Rev. 51:273–86
    [Google Scholar]
  132. Tabellini G. 2008. The scope of cooperation: norms and incentives. Q. J. Econ. 123:905–50
    [Google Scholar]
  133. Ticchi D, Verdier T, Vindigni A. 2013. Democracy, dictatorship and the cultural transmission of political values IZA Discuss. Pap. 7441, Inst. Labor Econ. Bonn, Ger:.
    [Google Scholar]
  134. Touré N. 2021. Culture, institutions and the industrialization process. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 186:481–503
    [Google Scholar]
  135. Vaughan D. 2013. Nurture versus nurture: endogenous parental and peer effects and the transmission of culture Work. Pap. 2013-04, Banco México Mexico City:
    [Google Scholar]
  136. Verdier T, Zenou Y. 2015. The role of cultural leaders in the transmission of preferences. Econ. Lett. 136:158–61
    [Google Scholar]
  137. Verdier T, Zenou Y. 2018. Cultural leader and the dynamics of assimilation. J. Econ. Theory 175:374–414
    [Google Scholar]
  138. Voth HJ. 2021. Persistence: myth and mystery. See Bisin & Federico 2021 243–67
  139. Wu J. 2017. Political institutions and the evolution of character traits. Games Econ. Behav. 106:260–76
    [Google Scholar]
  140. Wu J. 2021. Matching markets and cultural selection. Rev. Econ. Des. 25:267–88
    [Google Scholar]
  141. Wu J, Zhang H. 2021. Preference evolution in different matching markets. Eur. Econ. Rev. 137:103804
    [Google Scholar]
  142. Wu J, Zhang H. 2022. Polarization, antipathy, and political activism. Econ. Inq. 60:31005–17
    [Google Scholar]
  143. Young HP. 1998. Individual Strategy and Social Structure: An Evolutionary Theory of Institutions Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
    [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-090622-100258
Loading
  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error