Workings of the Melting Pot: Social Networks and the Evolution of Population Attributes
AbstractThis 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.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1320.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
melting pot; social networks; cultural assimilation; population attributes;
Other versions of this item:
- Jan K. Brueckner & Oleg Smirnov, 2007. "Workings Of The Melting Pot: Social Networks And The Evolution Of Population Attributes," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 209-228.
- NEP-URE-2004-11-07 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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