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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 whom we were somehow connected. Since we were more connected to people similar to us, we were also likely to marry someone from our own race. However, online dating has changed this pattern; people who meet online tend to be complete strangers. We investigate the effects of those previously absent ties on the diversity of modern societies. We find that social integration occurs rapidly when a society benefits from new connections. Our analysis of state-level data on interracial marriage and broadband adoption (proxy for online dating) suggests that this integration process is significant and ongoing.

Suggested Citation

  • Josue Ortega & Philipp Hergovich, 2017. "The Strength of Absent Ties: Social Integration via Online Dating," Papers 1709.10478, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1709.10478
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Deepti Goel & Kevin Lang, 2009. "Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 15186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Bogomolnaia, Anna & Laslier, Jean-Francois, 2007. "Euclidean preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 87-98, February.
    6. Josue Ortega, 2017. "Social Integration in Two-Sided Matching Markets," Papers 1705.08033, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2018.
    7. Deepti Goel & Kevin Lang, 2009. "Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 15186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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