Sam Jackson*, Alexandre Arnout**

Séminaires internes
phd seminar

Sam Jackson*, Alexandre Arnout**

Intergroup preferences and cultural integration : the role of children*
Flip-flopping and Endogenous Turnout**

IBD Amphi

Îlot Bernard du Bois - Amphithéâtre

5-9 boulevard Maurice Bourdet
13001 Marseille

Mardi 9 avril 2024| 11:00 - 12:30

Lucie Giorgi : lucie.giorgi[at]
Ricardo Guzman : ricardo.guzman[at]
Natalia Labrador : natalia.labrador-bernate[at]
Nathan Vieira : nathan.vieira[at]


*Cultural integration persists as one of the principal policy debates in almost all developed economies. Economics has characterised long-lasting cultural heterogeneity as the consequence of a preference motivated choice by agents, specifically a choice by parents over the cultural heritage they impart on their children. Existing models of cultural transmission have framed the process of vertical socialisation as a transfer between an active agent (the parent) and a passive agent (the child). I argue that this approach fails to account for the feedback effects that exist between the behaviour of a child and that of their parents. Motivated by qualitative results from economic surveys and sociological patterns such as ’the birthday party effect’, this paper aims to examine the transmission choices of parents in an environment where both child and parent make active decisions over their set of friendships. A better understanding of the relationship between parental and child networks, and how these might determine preferences, attitudes and norms is a necessary step in a better understanding of cultural integration as a whole. 

**I consider an electoral competition model, where each candidate is associated with an exogenous initial position from which they can strategically deviate. A deviation from the initial position is called flip-flopping, it impacts negatively citizens’ utility. I introduce abstention due to alienation: citizens abstain when their utility for their preferred candidate falls below a common exogenous threshold (referred to as the alienation threshold). I show how the alienation threshold shapes candidates’ flip-flopping strategy. When the alienation threshold is high, i.e when citizens are less inclined to vote, there is no flip-flopping at equilibrium. When the alienation threshold is low, candidates flip-flop toward the center of the policy space. Surprisingly, I show that there is a positive correlation between flip-flopping and turnout at equilibrium. Finally, I study alternative models where I consider various objective functions for candidates. I show that electoral competition leads to polarization when candidates maximize their number of votes.