Culture and Communication
56 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2018 Last revised: 18 Jan 2022
Date Written: April 8, 2019
A defining feature of culture is similarity in the manner in which information is interpreted. This facilitates extraction of information from the beliefs of those in one's own group, a force for homophily. However, observation of individuals outside one's group deepens our understanding of their culture, counteracting this effect. We model this process, using unobservable, heterogeneous priors (correlated within but not across groups) to represent beliefs. We characterize long-run communication patterns. At moderate levels of correlation in priors, individuals can be partitioned into two categories: some exhibit extreme informational homophily, while others seek information wherever it is most precise.
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