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Title: A simple model of homophily in social networks
Authors: Currarini, Sergio
Matheson, Jesse
Vega-Redondo, Fernando
First Published: 20-Apr-2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: European Economic Review, 2016, 90, pp.18-39
Abstract: Biases in meeting opportunities have been recently shown to play a key role for the emergence of homophily in social networks (see Currarini, Jackson and Pin 2009). The aim of this paper is to provide a simple microfoundation of these biases in a model where the size and typecomposition of the meeting pools are shaped by agents’ socialization decisions. In particular, agents either inbreed (direct search only to similar types) or outbreed (direct search to population at large). When outbreeding is costly, this is shown to induce stark equilibrium behavior of a threshold type: agents “inbreed” (i.e. mostly meet their own type) if, and only if, their group is above certain size. We show that this threshold equilibrium generates patterns of in-group and cross-group ties that are consistent with empirical evidence of homophily in two paradigmatic instances: high school friendships and interethnic marriages.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.03.011
ISSN: 0014-2921
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Creative Commons “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” licence CC BY-NC-ND, further details of which can be found via the following link:
Description: JEL Classification: D7, D71, D85, Z13.
The file associated with this record is embargoed until 24 months after the date of publication. The final published version may be available through the links above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Economics

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