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Cultural niche construction in a metapopulation.

Borenstein, E. and Kendal, J. and Feldman, M. (2006) 'Cultural niche construction in a metapopulation.', Theoretical population biology., 70 (1). pp. 92-104.

Abstract

Abstract Cultural niche construction is the process by which certain evolving cultural traits form a cultural niche that affects the evolution of other genetic and cultural traits [Laland, K., et al., 2001. Cultural niche construction and human evolution. J. Evol. Biol. 14, 22–33; Ihara, Y., Feldman, M., 2004. Cultural niche construction and the evolution of small family size. Theor. Popul. Biol. 65, 105–111]. In this study we focus on cultural niche construction in a metapopulation (a population of populations), where the frequency of one cultural trait (e.g. the level of education) determines the transmission rate of a second trait (e.g. the adoption of fertility reduction preferences) within and between populations. We formulate the Metapopulation Cultural Niche Construction (MPCNC) model by defining the cultural niche induced by the first trait as the construction of a social interaction network on which the second trait may percolate. Analysis of the model reveals dynamics that are markedly different from those observed in a single population, allowing, for example, different (or even opposing) dynamics in each population. In particular, this model can account for the puzzling phenomenon reported in previous studies [Bongaarts, J., Watkins, S., 1996. Social interactions and contemporary fertility transitions. Popul. Dev. Rev. 22 (4), 639–682] that the onset of the demographic transition in different countries occurred at ever lower levels of development.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:
Keywords:Niche construction, Cultural evolution, Cultural background, Demographic transition, Metapopulation.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tpb.2005.10.003
Record Created:20 Feb 2009
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:36

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