Globalization, polarization and cultural drift

Konstantin Klemm, Víctor M. Eguíluz, Raúl Toral, Maxi San Miguel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)


We study a one-dimensional version of Axelrod's model of cultural transmission. We classify the equilibrium configurations and analyze their stability. Below a critical threshold, an initially diverse population will converge to a monocultural equilibrium, or ordered state. Above this threshold, the dynamics settle to a multicultural or polarized state. These multicultural attractors are not stable, so that small local perturbations can drive the system towards a monocultural state. Cultural drift is modeled by perturbations (noise) acting at a finite rate. If the noise rate is small, the system reaches a monocultural state. However, if the noise rate is above a size-dependent critical value, noise sustains a polarized dynamical state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-334
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Economic Dynamics and Control
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Agent-based models
  • Culture dynamics
  • Noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Control and Optimization
  • Applied Mathematics

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  • Cite this

    Klemm, K., Eguíluz, V. M., Toral, R., & San Miguel, M. (2005). Globalization, polarization and cultural drift. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 29(1-2), 321-334.