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Homophily and the Persistence of Disagreement

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  • Melguizo, Isabel

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Melguizo, Isabel, 2017. "Homophily and the Persistence of Disagreement," MPRA Paper 77367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:77367
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/77367/1/MPRA_paper_77367.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    disagreement; homophily; average-based updating;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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