Countries of a Feather: Analyzing Homophily and Connectivity Between Nations Through Facebook Data
16 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2018 Last revised: 12 Oct 2018
Date Written: March 14, 2018
Migration and trade which are facets of international connectivity, a somewhat nebulous concept often discussed in international relations. Homophily is a social concept with wide-ranging consequences. Recent studies into homophily using Facebook data have unearthed links between Facebook friendship and statistics traditionally used to understand connectivity - bilateral migration and trade. In this paper, we use data supplied by Facebook to examine these correlations in more detail for over 200 countries. We find that Facebook friend links between nations show strong correlations with the movement of humans and capital. Building upon these findings, we then discuss the value of such a metric to studies of connectivity and the possibility of a conceptual link between homophily and international connectivity.
Keywords: Social Networks, Communication, Measurement, Homophily, Diffusion of Information, Trade, Migration, Civilization
JEL Classification: C10, C13, D08, L14, F01, O33, J61
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