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The Strength of Absent Ties: Social Integration via Online Dating

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  • Josue Ortega
  • Philipp Hergovich

Abstract

We used to marry people to which we were somehow connected to: friends of friends, schoolmates, neighbours. Since we were more connected to people similar to us, we were likely to marry someone from our own race. However, online dating has changed this pattern: people who meet online tend to be complete strangers. Given that one-third of modern marriages start online, we investigate theoretically, using random graphs and matching theory, the effects of those previously absent ties in the diversity of modern societies. We find that when a society benefits from previously absent ties, social integration occurs rapidly, even if the number of partners met online is small. Our findings are consistent with the sharp increase in interracial marriages in the U.S. in the last two decades.

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  • Josue Ortega & Philipp Hergovich, 2017. "The Strength of Absent Ties: Social Integration via Online Dating," Papers 1709.10478, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1709.10478
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Why so only 5.5% of Black Men Marry White Women?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 803-826, August.
    2. Deepti Goel & Kevin Lang, 2009. "Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 15186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Zhenchao Qian, 1997. "Breaking the racial barriers: Variations in interracial marriage between 1980 and 1990," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(2), pages 263-276, May.
    4. Matthias Parey & Fabian Waldinger, 2011. "Studying Abroad and the Effect on International Labour Market Mobility: Evidence from the Introduction of ERASMUS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 194-222, March.
    5. Roland G. Fryer Jr., 2007. "Guess Who's Been Coming to Dinner? Trends in Interracial Marriage over the 20th Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 71-90, Spring.
    6. Federico Echenique & Roland G. Fryer, 2007. "A Measure of Segregation Based on Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 441-485.
    7. Josue Ortega, 2017. "Can Everyone Benefit from Social Integration?," Papers 1705.08033, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2018.
    8. Deepti Goel & Kevin Lang, 2009. "Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 15186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Laura K. Gee & Jason Jones & Moira Burke, 2017. "Social Networks and Labor Markets: How Strong Ties Relate to Job Finding on Facebook’s Social Network," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 485-518.
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