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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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File URL: http://www.economics.uci.edu/files/docs/workingpapers/2005-06/Brueckner-30.pdf
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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. Yannis Ioannides, 2006. "Topologies of social interactions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(3), pages 559-584, 08.
  2. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Discrete choice with social interactions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. 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.
  4. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  5. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot : Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," DELTA Working Papers 1999-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. J. Scheinkman & U. Horst, 2003. "Equilibria in Systems of Social Interactions," Princeton Economic Theory Working Papers d5a39039d26e0b08775b915bf, David K. Levine.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose Scheinkman, 2000. "Non-Market Interactions," NBER Working Papers 8053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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