Coming Apart? Cultural Distances in the United States Over Time

82 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2018

See all articles by Marianne Bertrand

Marianne Bertrand

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Emir Kamenica

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business - Economics

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Date Written: July 5, 2018

Abstract

We analyze temporal trends in cultural distance between groups in the US defined by income, education, gender, race, and political ideology. We measure cultural distance between two groups as the ability to infer an individual's group based on his or her (i) media consumption, (ii) consumer behavior, (iii) time use, or (iv) social attitudes. Gender difference in time use decreased between 1965 and 1995 and has remained constant since. Differences in social attitudes by political ideology and income have increased over the last four decades. Whites and non-whites have converged somewhat on attitudes but have diverged in consumer behavior. For all other demographic divisions and cultural dimensions, cultural distance has been broadly constant over time.

Suggested Citation

Bertrand, Marianne and Kamenica, Emir, Coming Apart? Cultural Distances in the United States Over Time (July 5, 2018). Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics Working Paper No. 2018-47. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3208730 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3208730

Marianne Bertrand (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://gsbwww.uchicago.edu/fac/marianne.bertrand/vita/cv_0604.pdf

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Emir Kamenica

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business - Economics ( email )

Graduate School of Business
5807 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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