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

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Wijeratne, Yudhanjaya and Lokanathan, Sriganesh and Samarajiva, Rohan, Countries of a Feather: Analyzing Homophily and Connectivity Between Nations Through Facebook Data (March 14, 2018). TPRC 46: The 46th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3140408 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3140408

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Contact Author)

LIRNEasia ( email )

12, Balcombe Place
Colombo, 00800
Sri Lanka

HOME PAGE: http://www.lirneasia.net

Sriganesh Lokanathan

LIRNEasia ( email )

12, Balcomb Place
Colombo, 00800
Sri Lanka

Rohan Samarajiva

LIRNEasia ( email )

12, Balcombe Place
Colombo, 00800
Sri Lanka

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