Does homophily predict consensus times? Testing a model of network structure via a dynamic process

Benjamin Golub*, Matthew O. Jackson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

We test theoretical results from Golub and Jackson (2012a), which are based on a random network model, regarding time to convergence of a learning/behavior-updating process. In particular, we see how well those theoretical results match the process when it is simulated on empirically observed high school friendship networks. This tests whether a parsimonious random network model mimics real-world networks with regard to predicting properties of a class of behavioral processes. It also tests whether our theoretical predictions for asymptotically large societies are accurate when applied to populations ranging from thirty to three thousand individuals. We find that the theoretical results account for more than half of the variation in convergence times on the real networks. We conclude that a simple multi-type random network model with types defined by simple observable attributes (age, sex, race) captures aspects of real networks that are relevant for a class of iterated updating processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalReview of Network Economics
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Friendships
  • Homophily
  • Inhomogeneous random graphs
  • Random graphs
  • Social networks
  • Spectral graph theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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