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Social Networks and the Convergence of Population Attributes: A Generalization

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  • Jan K. Brueckner

    () (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Oleg Smirnov

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan K. Brueckner & Oleg Smirnov, 2006. "Social Networks and the Convergence of Population Attributes: A Generalization," Working Papers 050630, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050630
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Horst, Ulrich & Scheinkman, Jose A., 2006. "Equilibria in systems of social interactions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 44-77, September.
    3. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose Scheinkman, 2000. "Non-Market Interactions," NBER Working Papers 8053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Yannis Ioannides, 2006. "Topologies of social interactions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(3), pages 559-584, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Istvan Konya, 2002. "A dynamic model of cultural assimilation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 546, Boston College Department of Economics.
    8. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Fabrizio Panebianco, 2009. "�Driving While Black�: A Theory for Interethnic Integration and Evolution of Prejudice," Working Papers 2009_10, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    2. Pichler, Michael, 2011. "The economics of cultural formation of preferences," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 431, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    3. Panebianco, Fabrizio, 2014. "Socialization networks and the transmission of interethnic attitudes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 583-610.

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