Understanding cultural persistence and change

Paola Giuliano and Nathan Nunn on the topic. Their findings are fairly intuitive:

When does culture persist and when does it change? This column examines a determinant that has been put forth in the anthropology literature: the variability of the environment from one generation to the next. It finds that populations with ancestors who lived in environments with more stability from one generation to the next place a greater importance in maintaining tradition today, and exhibit more persistence in their traditions over time. 

 

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