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Workings Of The Melting Pot: Social Networks And The Evolution Of Population Attributes

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  • Jan K. Brueckner
  • Oleg Smirnov

Abstract

This paper links the two nascent economic literatures on social networks and cultural assimilation by investigating the evolution of population attributes in a simple model where agents are influenced by their acquaintances. The main conclusion of the analysis is that attributes converge to a melting-pot equilibrium, where everyone is identical, provided the social network exhibits a sufficient degree of interconnectedness. When the model is extended to allow an expanding acquaintance set, convergence is guaranteed provided a weaker interconnectedness condition is satisfied, and convergence is rapid. If the intensity of interactions with acquaintances becomes endogenous, convergence (when it occurs) is slowed when agents prefer to interact with people like themselves and hastened when interaction with dissimilar agents is preferred. Copyright Blackwell Publishing, Inc. 2007

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Regional Science.

Volume (Year): 47 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 209-228

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:47:y:2007:i:2:p:209-228

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References

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  1. Ballester, Coralio & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Who's Who in Crime Networks: Wanted - The Key Player," CEPR Discussion Papers 4421, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot : Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," DELTA Working Papers 1999-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1994. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Development Working Papers 193, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  5. Sanjeev Goyal, 2003. "Learning in Networks: a survey," Economics Discussion Papers 563, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  6. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Fryer, Roland & Echenique, Federico, 2007. "A Measure of Segregation Based on Social Interactions," Scholarly Articles 2958220, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Federico Echenique & Roland G. Fryer, Jr., 2005. "On the Measurement of Segregation," NBER Working Papers 11258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Panebianco, Fabrizio, 2014. "Socialization networks and the transmission of interethnic attitudes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 583-610.
  4. Michael M. Pichler, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Formation of Preferences," Working Papers 431, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics.
  5. Fabrizio Panebianco, 2009. "“Driving While Black”: A Theory for Interethnic Integration and Evolution of Prejudice," Working Papers 2009_10, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".

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