Cultural persistence

Cultural persistence refers to the persistence over time of "cultural traits" like customs, beliefs, and behaviours. In some cases, such traits last for very long periods of time, while in other cases they change more rapidly and dramatically.[1] Relevant traits could include such things as democratic or authoritarian norms and behaviours, concern for human rights, concern for animal welfare, or norms conducive to scientific progress or free markets.

cluelessness | cultural evolution | cultural lag | hinge of history | trajectory change | value driftvalue lock-in

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    Giuliano, Paola & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change, The Review of Economic Studies, vol. 88, pp. 1541–1581.

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    Beckstead, Nick (2015) The long-term significance of reducing global catastrophic risks, The GiveWell Blog, August 13 (updated 16 September 2015).

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    Kelly, Morgan (2019) The standard errors of persistence, SSRN Electronic Journal.

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This question of cultural persistence has received some academic attention,[3]1][4]3] and is also related to the field of cultural evolution.

  1. ^

    Giuliano, Paola & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change, The Review of Economic Studies, vol. 88, pp. 1541–1581.

  2. ^

    Beckstead, Nick (2015) The long-term significance of reducing global catastrophic risks, The GiveWell Blog, August 13 (updated 16 September 2015).

  3. ^
  4. ^

    Kelly, Morgan (2019) The standard errors of persistence, SSRN Electronic Journal.

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  1. ^

    Giuliano, Paola & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change, The Review of Economic Studies, rdaa074.vol. 88, pp. 1541–1581.

  2. ^

    Beckstead, Nick (2015) The long-term significance of reducing global catastrophic risks, The GiveWell Blog, August 13 (updated 16 September 2015).

  3. ^

    Giuliano, PaolaGiuliano & Nathan Nunn (2020)Nunn, Understanding cultural persistence and change, The Review of Economic Studies, vol. 88, pp. 1541–1581..

  4. ^

    Kelly, Morgan (2019) The standard errors of persistence, SSRN Electronic Journal.

  1. ^

    Giuliano, Paola & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change, The Review of Economic Studies, rdaa074.

  2. ^

    See alsoBeckstead, Nick Beckstead (2015) The long-term significance of reducing global catastrophic risks, The GiveWell Blog, August 13 (16(updated 16 September 2015).

  3. ^

    Giuliano, Paola & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change, The Review of Economic Studies, vol. 88, pp. 1541–1581.

  4. ^

    Kelly, Morgan (2019) The standard errors of persistence, SSRN Electronic Journal.

This question of cultural persistence has received some academic attention,[3][4] and is also related to the field of cultural evolution.

  1. ^

    Giuliano, Paola & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change, The Review of Economic Studies, rdaa074.

  2. ^

    See also Nick Beckstead (2015) The long-term significance of reducing global catastrophic risks, The GiveWell Blog, August 13 (16 September 2015).

  3. ^

    For exampleGiuliano, Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change,  andThe Review of Economic Studies, vol. 88, pp. 1541–1581.

  4. ^

    Kelly, Morgan Kelly (2019) The standard errors of persistence, SSRN Electronic Journal.

Cultural persistence refers to the persistence over time of "cultural traits" like customs, beliefs, behaviours. In some cases, such traits last for very long periods of time, while in other cases they change more rapidly and dramatically (Giuliano & Nunn 2020).dramatically.[1] Relevant traits could include such things as democratic or authoritarian norms and behaviours, concern for human rights, concern for animal welfare, or norms conducive to scientific progress or free markets.

It could be valuable to know how persistent cultural traits tend to be, how often they are very persistent, how this varies between traits and conditions, and what interventions could affect persistence. This could inform predictions about what the future will be like and views about the importance of intervening to change various traits or various conditions that affect persistence. For example, generally, the more persistent we expect a positive change in people's moral views to be, the more valuable causing that change may be. Cultural persistence is therefore relevant to ideas such as trajectory change and value lock-in (see also Beckstead 2015).[2]

This question of cultural persistence has received some academic attention (e.g. Giuliano & Nunn 2020; Kelly 2019),attention,[3] and is also related to the field of cultural evolution.

BibliographyFurther reading

Beckstead, Nick (2015) The long-term significance of reducing global catastrophic risks, The GiveWell Blog, August 13 (16 September 2015).

Giuliano, Paola & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change, The Review of Economic Studies, rdaa074.

Kelly, Morgan (2019) The standard errors of persistence, SSRN Electronic Journal.

  1. ^

    Giuliano, Paola & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change, The Review of Economic Studies, rdaa074.

  2. ^

    See also Nick Beckstead (2015) The long-term significance of reducing global catastrophic risks, The GiveWell Blog, August 13 (16 September 2015).

  3. ^

    For example Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding cultural persistence and change,  and Morgan Kelly (2019) The standard errors of persistence, SSRN Electronic Journal.

It could be valuable to know how persistent cultural traits tend to be, how often they are very persistent, how this varies between traits and conditions, and what interventions could affect persistence. This could inform predictions about what the future will be like and views about the importance of intervening to change various traits or various conditions that affect persistence. For example, generally, the more persistent we expect a positive change in people's moral views to be, the more valuable causing that change may be. Cultural persistence is therefore relevant to ideas such as trajectory change and value lock-in (see also Beckstead, 2016)Beckstead 2015).

This question of cultural persistence has received some academic attention (e.g. Giuliano & Nunn 2020; Kelly,Kelly 2019), and is also related to the field of cultural evolution.

Beckstead (2016)Beckstead, Nick (2015) https://blog.givewell.org/2015/08/13/the-The long-term-significance-of-reducing-global-catastrophic-risks/term significance of reducing global catastrophic risks, The GiveWell Blog, August 13 (16 September 2015).

It's often importantCultural persistence refers to have a sensethe persistence over time of the persistence"cultural traits" like customs, beliefs, behaviours. In some cases, such traits last for very long periods of political/cultural variables -time, while in other cases they change more rapidly and dramatically (Giuliano & Nunn 2020). Relevant traits could include such things as democracy, authoritarianism,democratic or authoritarian norms and behaviours, concern for human rights, a concern for animal welfare, or norms conducive to scientific progress or free markets.

It could be valuable to know how persistent cultural traits tend to be, how often they are very persistent, how this varies between traits and conditions, and what interventions could affect persistence. This cancould inform our predictions ofabout what the future will be like and our views onabout the importance of changing those variables.intervening to change various traits or various conditions that affect persistence. For example, generally, the more persistent we expect a positive change in people's moral views to be, the more valuable causing that change may be. Cultural persistence is therefore relevant to ideas such as trajectory change and value lock-in (see also Beckstead, 2016).

See alsoThis question of cultural persistence has received some academic work on cultural persistenceattention (e.g. Giuliano & Nunn 2020; Kelly, 2019), and is also related to the field of cultural evolution.

Beckstead (2016) https://blog.givewell.org/2015/08/13/the-long-term-significance-of-reducing-global-catastrophic-risks/

Giuliano, Paola & Nathan Nunn (2020) Understanding Cultural Persistencecultural persistence and Changechange, The Review of Economic Studies, rdaa074.

In Freitas-Groff, Zach (2021) Longtermism in animal advocacy, Animal Charity Evaluators, March 31, there's discussion of persistence studies, the implications that that might have for animal advocates, and what new persistence-studies-style research could be done to further inform animal advocates. It might be useful for someone to add some text to this entry which draws on what Zach says there.

The relevant part is in the last ~18 minutes, and especially the last ~12 minutes.