Endogenous Indoctrination: Occupational Choices, the Evolution of Beliefs and the Political Economy of Reforms

29 Pages Posted: 10 May 2010

See all articles by Gilles Saint-Paul

Gilles Saint-Paul

University of Toulouse I - GREMAQ-IDEI; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: February 18, 2010

Abstract

I analyse a model where workers self-select in the educational occupation in a way which is correlated with their beliefs about the working of the market economy. Teachers have a disproportionate effect on the transmission of beliefs. Therefore, they generate a bias which makes it harder for the population to learn the true parameters of the economy if these are favourable to the market economy. Two parameters determine this bias. Social entropy defines how predictable one's occupation is as a function of one's beliefs. Heritability is the weight of the family's beliefs in the determination of the priors of a new generation. Both heritability and social entropy reduce the bias and make it easier to learn that the market economy is “good”, under the assumption that it is.

Suggested Citation

Saint-Paul, Gilles, Endogenous Indoctrination: Occupational Choices, the Evolution of Beliefs and the Political Economy of Reforms (February 18, 2010). The Economic Journal, Vol. 120, Issue 544, pp. 325-353, May 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1601554 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02358.x

Gilles Saint-Paul (Contact Author)

University of Toulouse I - GREMAQ-IDEI ( email )

Manufacture des Tabacs
21 Allees de Brienne
Toulouse, 31000
France
+33 5 6112 8544 (Phone)
+33 5 6122 5563 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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