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Diffusion and contagion in networks with heterogeneous agents and homophily

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  • JACKSON, MATTHEW O.
  • LÓPEZ-PINTADO, DUNIA

Abstract

We study the diffusion of an idea, a product, a disease, a cultural fad, or a technology among agents in a social network that exhibits segregation or homophily (the tendency of agents to associate with others similar to themselves). Individuals are distinguished by their types—e.g., race, gender, age, wealth, religion, profession—which, together with biased interaction patterns, induce heterogeneous rates of adoption or infection. We identify the conditions under which a behavior or disease diffuses and becomes persistent in the population. These conditions relate to the level of homophily in a society and the underlying proclivities of various types for adoption or infection. In particular, we show that homophily can facilitate diffusion from a small initial seed of adopters.

Suggested Citation

  • Jackson, Matthew O. & López-Pintado, Dunia, 2013. "Diffusion and contagion in networks with heterogeneous agents and homophily," Network Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 49-67, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:netsci:v:1:y:2013:i:01:p:49-67_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Esther Duflo & Matthew O. Jackson, 2012. "The Diffusion of Microfinance," NBER Working Papers 17743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dunia López-Pintado, 2006. "Contagion and coordination in random networks," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 34(3), pages 371-381, October.
    3. Jackson Matthew O. & Rogers Brian W., 2007. "Relating Network Structure to Diffusion Properties through Stochastic Dominance," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-16, February.
    4. López-Pintado, Dunia, 2008. "Diffusion in complex social networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 573-590, March.
    5. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "Network Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
    6. Sergio Currarini & Matthew O. Jackson & Paolo Pin, 2009. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities, and Segregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1003-1045, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rong, Rong & Houser, Daniel, 2015. "Growing stars: A laboratory analysis of network formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 380-394.
    2. Tabasso, Nicole, 2015. "Diffusion of Multiple Information: On Information Resilience and the Power of Segregation," Climate Change and Sustainable Development 206383, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    3. Bryan S. Graham, 2014. "An econometric model of link formation with degree heterogeneity," NBER Working Papers 20341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:eee:csdana:v:126:y:2018:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Muñoz, Francisco & Nuño, Juan Carlos & Primicerio, Mario, 2015. "Effects of inspections in small world social networks with different contagion rules," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 432(C), pages 76-86.
    6. Halberstam, Yosh & Knight, Brian, 2016. "Homophily, group size, and the diffusion of political information in social networks: Evidence from Twitter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 73-88.
    7. repec:eee:gamebe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:155-176 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. A. Alekseev & Mikhail Freer, 2018. "Selection in the Lab: A Network Approach," Working Papers ECARES 2018-32, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers & Yves Zenou, 2017. "The Economic Consequences of Social-Network Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 49-95, March.
    10. Bryan S. Graham, 2017. "An Econometric Model of Network Formation With Degree Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1033-1063, July.
    11. repec:spr:series:v:8:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s13209-016-0152-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Panebianco, Fabrizio & Verdier, Thierry, 2017. "Paternalism, homophily and cultural transmission in random networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 155-176.
    13. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers & Yves Zenou, 2016. "Networks: An Economic Perspective," Papers 1608.07901, arXiv.org.
    14. Panebianco, Fabrizio & Verdier, Thierry, 2015. "Paternalism, Cultural Transmission and Diffusion on Complex Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 10722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Yang, Jianxia & Wu, John, 2013. "Strategic correlativity and network games," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 663-669.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • C45 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Neural Networks and Related Topics

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