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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.
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    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. Angelo Antoci & Alexia Delfino & Fabio Paglieri & Fabrizio Panebianco & Fabio Sabatini, 2016. "Civility vs. Incivility in Online Social Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(11), pages 1-17, November.
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    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. Alexandre Mayol & Thierry Pénard, 2017. "Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier!," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 101-127.
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    19. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," Papers 1507.08863, arXiv.org.
    20. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "E-participation: Social Capital and the Internet," Economy and Society 186606, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    21. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2007. "Endogenous growth, decline in social capital and expansion of market activities," MPRA Paper 3341, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. 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.
    23. 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.
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    25. 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.
    26. M. Sodini & F. Sabatini & A. Antoci, 2014. "Online and offline social participation and social poverty traps. Can social networks save human relations?," Working Paper CRENoS 201404, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    27. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-493, May.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Online Networks, Social Interaction and Segregation: An Evolutionary Approach
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2018-04-03 14:04:42

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    Cited by:

    1. Antoci, Angelo & Bonelli, Laura & Paglieri, Fabio & Reggiani, Tommaso & Sabatini, Fabio, 2019. "Civility and trust in social media," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 83-99.
    2. Coppier, Raffaella & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2021. "Social Capital, Human Capital, And Fertility," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 632-650, April.
    3. Dughera, Stefano & Giraudo, Marco, 2020. "Privacy Rights in Online Interactions and Litigation Dynamics: a Social Custom View," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 202003, University of Turin.

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    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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