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Innovation in Cultural SystemsContributions from Evolutionary Anthropology$
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Michael J. O'Brien and Stephen J. Shennan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013338

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013338.001.0001

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Social Learning, Economic Inequality, and Innovation Diffusion

Social Learning, Economic Inequality, and Innovation Diffusion

(p.193) 12 Social Learning, Economic Inequality, and Innovation Diffusion
Innovation in Cultural Systems

Anne Kandler

James Steele

The MIT Press

This chapter describes variation in diffusion and rates of cultural change. It addresses the possible role of social-influence processes and of economic inequalities in identifying the rate of growth in sales of new products of this kind. It analyzes the differences and similarities of the Bass model of innovation diffusion and the dual-inheritance (DI) model in terms of adoption dynamics. This chapter suggests that economic inequality in a population's income distribution is likely to be an important factor in explaining the time course of new product diffusion. It shows that both the Bass and the DI models assume that agents are homogeneous with respect to the economic capacity to adopt.

Keywords:   cultural change, innovation diffusion, Bass model, dual-inheritance model, adoption dynamics, economic inequality, social-influence processes

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