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Vertical transmission of consumption behavior and the distribution of surnames

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2006
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Abstract
This paper attempts to detect the existence of links in consumption preferences between generations. Preferences for consumption goods may be determined by the preferences of parents (vertical transmission) and/or by preferences arising from the environment (horizontal transmission). We propose an indirect methodology to overcome the lack of data on consumption choices of dynasties, i.e., parents and their adult offspring. This new approach is based on the analysis of the correlation between the geographical distributions of surnames and consumption choices. Our results show that there is horizontal transmission of preferences regarding non-food items and possibly vertical transmission for food items.
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Preference formation, Surnames, Vertical and horizontal transmission
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