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DETECTION OF LOCAL INTERACTIONS FROM THE SPATIAL PATTERN OF NAMES IN FRANCE

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ABSTRACT. 

Using data on the geographic distribution of names in France, we investigate the social transmission of parental preferences. Drawing on recent work on nonmarket interactions, we develop a linear discrete choice model that relates choices made in one location to those made in nearby areas. We explain the shares of parents that give their children Saint, Arabic, and American-type names. We also examine the effect of distance between locations on differences in naming patterns. We find that the importance of geographic distance is declining over time while differences in class and national origins have increasing explanatory power.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, 2053 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z2, Canada., Email: keith.head@ubc.ca 2: Paris School of Economics, Université de Paris I; CEPII; PSE; and CEPR.

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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