Exposure to Foreign Media and Changes in Cultural Traits: Evidence from Naming Patterns in France
Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - TEAM; Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC) - Centre d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Analyse Socio-Economique (CERAS); CEPII, Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Info. Internationales, Paris; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) - UMR Economie Publique
University of British Columbia - Division of Strategy and Business Economics
CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5674
Free trade in audio-visual services has faced opposition on the grounds that foreign media undermine domestic culture, and ultimately, global diversity. We assess the media-culture link using name frequencies as a measure of tastes. Using a 47-year panel of French birth registries, we first show that names appearing on television shows, movies, or in songs are about five times more popular than other names. Most, but not all, of this relationship arises from endogeneity: song and script writers, as well as performers and their parents, select names that would be popular anyways. Using name attributes, fixed effects, and lagged popularity as controls, our regression results suggest that media affect choices by informing parents of unfamiliar names.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Endogenous tastes, cultural transmission, television, cinema, popular music
JEL Classification: D19, F15, Z10working papers series
Date posted: August 2, 2006
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