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Homophily and the Persistence of Disagreement

Listed author(s):
  • Melguizo, Isabel

We study a dynamic model of attitude formation in which individuals average others' attitudes to develop their own. We assume that individuals exhibit homophily in sociodemographic exogenous attributes, that is, the attention they pay to each other is based on whether they possess similar attributes. We also assume that individuals exhibit homophily in attitudes, at the group level. Specifically, attributes that are salient, that is, that exhibit a substantial difference in attitudes between the groups of individuals possessing and lacking them, deserve high attention. Since we allow attention to evolve over time we prove that when there is, initially, a unique most salient attribute, it deserves growing attention overtime in detriment of the remaining ones. As a result, individuals eventually interact only with others similar to them across this attribute and disagreement persists. It materializes in two groups of thinking defined according to this attribute.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/77367/1/MPRA_paper_77367.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 77367.

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Date of creation: Jan 2017
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:77367
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