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Merit, approbation and the evolution of social structure

[journal article]

Cowan, Robin; Jonard, Nicolas

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-199586

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Abstract We examine a society in which individuals gain utility from income and social approbation. Approbation is given to an unobservable trait, signalled through social mobility. Two environments are studied: in one players care for absolute approbation; in the other relative approbation matters. In both environments, individuals' quest for approbation both affects and is affected by social structure. We study the long run implications of that interaction on social organization. Various forms of dynasties and meritocracies are possible. Even though social mobility is driven purely by meritocratic principles, pure dynasties can emerge.
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories
Free Keywords Approbation; Social status; Intergenerational mobility
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 295-315
Journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 64 (2007) 3-4
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2006.11.005
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)