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Online Networks, Social Interaction and Segregation: An Evolutionary Approach

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  • Angelo Antoci
  • Fabio Sabatini
  • Francesco Sarracino

Abstract

We have developed an evolutionary game model, where agents can choose between two forms of social participation: interaction via online social networks and interaction by exclusive means of face-to-face encounters. We illustrate the societal dynamics that the model predicts, in light of the empirical evidence provided by previous literature. We then assess their welfare implications. We show that dynamics, starting from a world in which online social interaction is less gratifying than offline encounters, will lead to the extinction of the sub-population of online networks users, thereby making Facebook and alike disappear in the long run. Furthermore, we show that the higher the propensity for discrimination between the two sub-populations of socially active individuals, the greater the probability that individuals will ultimately segregate themselves, making society fall into a social poverty trap.

Suggested Citation

  • Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2016. "Online Networks, Social Interaction and Segregation: An Evolutionary Approach," Papers 1603.05828, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1603.05828
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    1. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2014. "E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2238-2265, July.
    2. Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini & Mauro Sodini, 2014. "Bowling alone but tweeting together: the evolution of human interaction in the social networking era," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1911-1927, July.
    3. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Woessmann, Ludger, 2014. "Surfing alone? The internet and social capital: Evidence from an unforeseeable technological mistake," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 73-89.
    4. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Online social networks and trust," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2015/04, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    5. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 456-480, August.
    6. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," Papers 1507.08863, arXiv.org.
    7. Stefano Bartolini & Ennio Bilancini & Maurizio Pugno, 2008. "Did the Decline in Social Capital Depress Americans’ Happiness?," Department of Economics University of Siena 540, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    8. Stefano Bartolini & Francesco Sarracino, 2011. "Happy for How Long? How Social Capital and GDP relate to Happiness over Time," Department of Economics University of Siena 621, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    9. Antoci, Angelo & Delfino, Alexia & Paglieri, Fabio & Panebianco, Fabrizio & Sabatini, Fabio, 2016. "Civility vs. incivility in online social interactions: an evolutionary approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68800, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Bruni, Luigino & Stanca, Luca, 2008. "Watching alone: Relational goods, television and happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 506-528, March.
    11. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2008. "Endogenous growth, decline in social capital and expansion of market activities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 917-926, September.
    12. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2012. "See you on Facebook! A framework for analyzing the role of computer-mediated interaction in the evolution of social capital," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 541-547.
    13. Antoci, Angelo & Sacco, Pier Luigi & Vanin, Paolo, 2007. "Social capital accumulation and the evolution of social participation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 128-143, February.
    14. Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini & Mauro Sodini, 2013. "Economic Growth, Technological Progress and Social Capital: The Inverted U Hypothesis," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 401-431, July.
    15. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2012. "The Solaria syndrome: Social capital in a growing hyper-technological economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 802-814.
    16. Thierry Pénard & Alexandre Mayol, 2015. "Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier!," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201506, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    17. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "E-participation: social capital and the Internet," MPRA Paper 55722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2007. "Endogenous growth, decline in social capital and expansion of market activities," MPRA Paper 3341, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Sarracino, Francesco & Mikucka, Malgorzata, 2015. "Social capital in Europe from 1990 to 2012: trends, path-dependency and convergence," MPRA Paper 63619, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding the American Decline in Social Capital, 1952--1998," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 17-46, February.
    21. John F. Helliwell & Haifang Huang, 2013. "Comparing the Happiness Effects of Real and On-line Friends," NBER Working Papers 18690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Bartolini, Stefano & Sarracino, Francesco, 2015. "The Dark Side of Chinese Growth: Declining Social Capital and Well-Being in Times of Economic Boom," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 333-351.
    23. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-493, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antoci, Angelo & Bonelli, Laura & Paglieri, Fabio & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Sabatini, Fabio, 2018. "Civility and Trust in Social Media," IZA Discussion Papers 11290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Raffaella Coppier & Fabio Sabatini & Mauro Sodini, 2018. "Social capital, human capital and fertility," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2018/04, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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