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Diffusion and contagion in networks with heterogeneous agents and homophily

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew O. Jackson

    (Department of Economics, Stanford University, Santa Fe Institute, and CIFAR)

  • Dunia López Pintado

    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew O. Jackson & Dunia López Pintado, 2011. "Diffusion and contagion in networks with heterogeneous agents and homophily," Working Papers 11.14, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:11.14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "Network Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
    3. 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, July.
    4. Banerjee, Abhijit & Chandrasekhar, Arun G & Duflo, Esther & Jackson, Matthew O., 2012. "The Diffusion of Microfinance," CEPR Discussion Papers 8770, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. López-Pintado, Dunia, 2008. "Diffusion in complex social networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 573-590, March.
    6. Dunia López-Pintado, 2006. "Contagion and coordination in random networks," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 34(3), pages 371-381, October.
    7. de Martí Beltran, Joan, 2009. "Matthew O. Jackson, Social and Economic Networks , Princeton University Press (2008)," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 644-645, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Grabisch & Agnieszka Rusinowska & Xavier Venel, 2019. "Diffusion in countably infinite networks," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 19017, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    2. Muñoz, Francisco & Nuño, Juan Carlos & Primicerio, Mario, 2015. "Effects of inspections in small world social networks with different contagion rules," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 432(C), pages 76-86.
    3. Tadao Hoshino & Daichi Shimamoto & Yasuyuki Todo, 2020. "Accounting for Heterogeneity in Network Formation Behaviour: An Application to Vietnamese SMEs," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(5), pages 1042-1067, October.
    4. A. Alekseev & Mikhail Freer, 2018. "Selection in the Lab: A Network Approach," Working Papers ECARES 2018-32, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Bryan S. Graham, 2017. "An Econometric Model of Network Formation With Degree Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1033-1063, July.
    6. Rong, Rong & Houser, Daniel, 2015. "Growing stars: A laboratory analysis of network formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 380-394.
    7. Heinsalu, Sander, 2021. "Promotion of (interaction) abstinence increases infection prevalence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 94-112.
    8. Avin, Chen & Daltrophe, Hadassa & Keller, Barbara & Lotker, Zvi & Mathieu, Claire & Peleg, David & Pignolet, Yvonne-Anne, 2020. "Mixed preferential attachment model: Homophily and minorities in social networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 555(C).
    9. Panebianco, Fabrizio & Verdier, Thierry, 2017. "Paternalism, homophily and cultural transmission in random networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 155-176.
    10. Abhishek Samantray & Paolo Pin, 2019. "Credibility of climate change denial in social media," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 5(1), pages 1-8, December.
    11. Li Ding & Ping Hu, 2019. "Contagion Processes on Time-Varying Networks with Homophily-Driven Group Interactions," Complexity, Hindawi, vol. 2019, pages 1-13, October.
    12. Castro, Luis E. & Shaikh, Nazrul I., 2018. "A particle-learning-based approach to estimate the influence matrix of online social networks," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 1-18.
    13. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers & Yves Zenou, 2017. "The Economic Consequences of Social-Network Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 49-95, March.
    14. Scatà, Marialisa & Di Stefano, Alessandro & La Corte, Aurelio & Liò, Pietro & Catania, Emanuele & Guardo, Ermanno & Pagano, Salvatore, 2016. "Combining evolutionary game theory and network theory to analyze human cooperation patterns," Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 17-24.
    15. Yang, Jianxia & Wu, John, 2013. "Strategic correlativity and network games," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 663-669.
    16. Bryan S. Graham, 2014. "An econometric model of link formation with degree heterogeneity," NBER Working Papers 20341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Dunia López-Pintado, 2017. "Influence networks and public goods," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 97-112, March.
    18. Panebianco, Fabrizio & Verdier, Thierry, 2015. "Paternalism, Cultural Transmission and Diffusion on Complex Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 10722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Kamath, Anant, 2013. "Interactive knowledge exchanges under complex social relations: A simulation model of a developing country cluster," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 294-305.
    20. Halberstam, Yosh & Knight, Brian, 2016. "Homophily, group size, and the diffusion of political information in social networks: Evidence from Twitter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 73-88.
    21. Jackson, Matthew O. & Rogers, Brian & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Networks: An economic perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 11452, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Christopher Avery & William Bossert & Adam Clark & Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2020. "An Economist's Guide to Epidemiology Models of Infectious Disease," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 79-104, Fall.
    23. Tabasso, Nicole, 2019. "Diffusion of multiple information: On information resilience and the power of segregation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 219-240.
    24. Harpedanne de Belleville, Louis-Marie, 2020. "Act Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Slowing Contagion with Unknown Spreaders, Constrained Cleaning Capacities and Costless Measures," MPRA Paper 99728, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    25. Vahideh Manshadi & Sidhant Misra & Scott Rodilitz, 2020. "Diffusion in Random Networks: Impact of Degree Distribution," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 68(6), pages 1722-1741, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Diffusion; Homophily; Segregation; Social Networks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • C45 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Neural Networks and Related Topics

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