Homophily and Long-Run Integration in Social Networks
39 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2012 Last revised: 1 May 2012
Date Written: April 2012
We model network formation when heterogeneous nodes enter sequentially and form connections through both random meetings and network-based search, but with type-dependent biases. We show that there is "long-run integration," whereby the composition of types in sufficiently old nodes' neighborhoods approaches the global type distribution, provided that the network-based search is unbiased. However, younger nodes' connections still reflect the biased meetings process. We derive the type-based degree distributions and group-level homophily patterns when there are two types and location-based biases. Finally, we illustrate aspects of the model with an empirical application to data on citations in physics journals.
Keywords: Networks, Social Networks, Network Formation, Homophily, Segregation, Integration, Citations
JEL Classification: D85, A14, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation