Diffusion and contagion in networks with heterogeneous agents and homophily
We study how a behavior (an idea, buying a product, having a disease, adopting a cultural fad or a technology) spreads among agents in an a social network that exhibits segregation or homophily (the tendency of agents to associate with others similar to themselves). Individuals are distinguished by their types (e.g., race, gender, age, wealth, religion, profession, etc.) which, together with biased interaction patterns, induce heterogeneous rates of adoption. We identify the conditions under which a behavior diffuses and becomes persistent in the population. These conditions relate to the level of homophily in a society, the underlying proclivities of various types for adoption or infection, as well as how each type interacts with its own type. In particular, we show that homophily can facilitate diffusion from a small initial seed of adopters.
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- Abhijit Banerjee & Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Esther Duflo & Matthew O. Jackson, 2012.
"The Diffusion of Microfinance,"
NBER Working Papers
17743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dunia López-Pintado, 2006. "Contagion and coordination in random networks," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 371-381, October.
- Sergio Currarini & Paolo Pin & Matthew O. Jackson, 2007.
"An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities and Segregation,"
2007_20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
- Sergio Currarini & Matthew O. Jackson & Paolo Pin, 2009. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities, and Segregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1003-1045, 07.
- Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2008.
Economics Working Papers
ECO2008/07, European University Institute.
- López-Pintado, Dunia, 2008.
"Diffusion in complex social networks,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 573-590, March.
- Jackson Matthew O. & Rogers Brian W., 2007. "Relating Network Structure to Diffusion Properties through Stochastic Dominance," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-16, February.
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