Advertisement

On the Cultural Evolution of Age-at-Marriage Norms

  • Francesco C. Billari
  • Alexia Prskawetz
  • Johannes Fürnkranz
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)

Abstract

We present an agent-based model designed to study the cultural evolution of age-at-marriage norms. We review both theoretical arguments and empirical evidence regarding the existence of norms which proscribe marriage outside of an acceptable age interval. Using a definition of norms as built-in constraints in agents, we model the transmission of norms and the mechanisms of the intergenerational transmission of norms. Agents can marry each other only if they share part of the acceptable age interval. We perform several simulation experiments on the evolution across generations. In particular, we study the conditions under which norms persist in the long run, the impact of initial conditions, the role of random mutations, and the impact of social influence. Although our agent-based model is highly stylized, it reveals important insights about the dynamics of life course norms.

Keywords

Social Norm Social Influence Cultural Evolution Transmission Mechanism Intergenerational Transmission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Bendor J., Swistak P. (2001): The Evolution of Norms. American Journal of Sociology 106 (6), 1493–1545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bicchieri C., Jeffrey R., Skyrms B. (Eds.) (1997): The dynamics of norms. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Billari E.C., Micheli G.A. (1999): Le scelte dernografiche: la percezione dei costi e delle norme sociali. In: Mauri L., Billari F.C. (Eds.): Generazioni di donne a confronto. Indagine sociodemografica, FrancoAngeli, MilanoGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Billari F.C., Micheli G.A. (2001): Social norms on agents’ demographic events. Preliminaries for a (multi-)agent-based approach. In: Conte R., Dellarocas C.: Social Order in Multiagent System, Kluwer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boyd R., Richerson P.J. (1985): Culture and the Evolutionary Process. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Castelfranchi C., Conte R., Paolucci M. (1998): Normative reputation and the cost of compliance. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 1(3), http: //www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/JASSS/1/3/3.htmlGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cavalli-Sforza L.L., Feldman M.W. (1981): Cultural Transmission and Evolution: A Quantitative Approach. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Conte R. (1997): Diversity in rationality. A multi-agent perspective. Paper given at the Dagstuhl Seminar on Social Science Microsimulation, May 5–9Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Conte R., Castelfranchi C. (1999): From conventions to prescriptions. Towards and integrated view of norms. Artificial Intelligence and Law 7, 323–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Conte R., Falcone R., Sartor G. (1999): Introduction: Agents and Norms: How to fill the gap? Artificial Intelligence and Law 7, 1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dawkins R. (1976): The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Epstein J.M. (2001): Learning to be Thoughtless: Social Norms and Individual Computation. Computational Economics 18, 9–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Epstein J.M., Axtell R. (1996): Growing Artificial Societies. Social Science from the Bottom Up. Brookings Institutions Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Flentge F., Polani D., Uthmann T. (2001): Modelling the Emergence of Possession Norms using Memes. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 4(4), http: //www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/JASSS/4/4/3.htmlGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Giele J.Z., Elder G.H.Jr. (Eds.) (1998): Methods of Life Course Research. Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Thous and Oaks, Sage, CAGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Heckhausen J. (1999): Developmental Regulation in Adulthood. Age-Normative and Sociostructural Constraints as Adaptive Challenges. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Henrich J., Boyd R. (1998): The Evolution of Conformist Transmission and the Emergence of Between-Group Differences. Evolution and Human Behavior 19, 215–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Horne C. (2000): Community and the State. The Relationship between Normative and Legal Controls. European Sociological Review 16, 225–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kohler, H.-P. (2001): Fertility and Social Interaction. An Economic Perspective. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Livi Bacci, M. (2000): The Population of Europe. Blackwell, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Marini M.M. (1984): Age and sequencing norms in the transition to adulthood. Social Forces 63, 229–44Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    McElreath R., Boyd R., Richerson P.J. (forthcoming): Shared norms can lead to the evolution of ethnic markers. Current AnthropologyGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Saam N.J., Harrer A. (1999): Simulating Norms, Social Inequality, and Functional Change in Artificial Societies. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 2(1), http: //www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/JASSS/2/1/2.htmlGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Settersten R.A., Hagestad G.O. (1996): What’ s the Latest? Cultural Age Deadlines for Family Transitions. The Gerontologist 36, 178–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Tierney L. (1990): Lisp-Stat. An Object-Oriented Environment for Statistical Computing and Dynamic Graphics. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    White J.M. (1998): The Normative Interpretation of Life Course Event Histories. Marriage & Family Review 27, 211–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Wilson C. (1999): Evolutionary Theory and Historical Fertility Change. Population and Development Review 25, 531–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco C. Billari
    • 1
  • Alexia Prskawetz
    • 2
  • Johannes Fürnkranz
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Quantitative MethodsBocconi UniversityMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Demographic ResearchRostockGermany
  3. 3.Austrian Research Institute for Artificial IntelligenceViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations