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Social Networks and the Convergence of Population Attributes: A Generalization

  • Jan K. Brueckner


    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Oleg Smirnov


    (Departments of Economics and Geography, San Diego State University)

Analysis of social interactions has recently become an important area of economic research, and the focus of researchers in this area has increasingly shifted toward dynamic models. In one recent contribution, Brueckner and Smirnov (2006) analyze the evolution of population attributes in an exceedingly simple model where an agent’s attributes at time t are equal to the average attribute value among his acquaintances. The pattern of acquaintances in the population is determined by the social network, and Brueckner and Smirnov (BS) explore the effect of network characteristics on the convergence of population attributes over time. They show that some simple sufficient conditions on the network structure ensure convergence to a "melting-pot" equilibrium, where attributes are uniform across agents. The present paper provides a generalization of BS’s analysis, allowing for a more general form of the rule governing the evolution of population attributes. The analysis shows that BS’s previous conclusions continue to hold under this generalization, while also providing a result that can be applied more generally to other models.

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Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 050630.

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Length: 9 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050630
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  1. U. Horst & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2010. "Equilibria in Systems of Social Interactions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000119, David K. Levine.
  2. Yannis Ioannides, 2001. "Topologies of Social Interactions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0104, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  3. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2001. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 235-260.
  4. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose Scheinkman, 2000. "Non-Market Interactions," NBER Working Papers 8053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bisin, Alberto & Horst, Ulrich & Ozgur, Onur, 2006. "Rational expectations equilibria of economies with local interactions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 74-116, March.
  7. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
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