Cultural transmission and discrimination

Maria Saez-Marti, Yves Zenou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Workers can have good or bad work habits. These traits are transmitted from one generation to the next through a learning and imitation process, which depends on parents investment in the trait and the social environment where children live. If a sufficiently high proportion of employers have taste-based prejudices against minority workers, we show that their prejudices are always self-fulfilled in steady state and minority workers end up having, on average, worse work habits than majority workers. This leads to a ghetto culture. Affirmative Action can improve the welfare of minorities whereas integration can be beneficial to minority workers but detrimental to workers from the majority group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137 - 146
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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