Segregation in Networks
Giorgio Fagiolo, University of Verona, and Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa
Marco Valente, University of L'Aquila
Nicolaas J. Vriend, Queen Mary, University of London
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2007, Vol. 64 (3-4), p. 316-336

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Abstract. Schelling [Schelling, T., 1969. Models of segregation. American Economic Review 59, 488-493; Schelling, T., 1971a. Dynamic models of segregation. Journal of Mathematical Sociology 1, 143-186; Schelling, T., 1971b. On the ecology of micromotives. The Public Interest 25, 61-98; Schelling, T., 1978. Micromotives and Macrobehavior. W.W. Norton and Company, New York] considered a model with individual agents who only care about the types of people living in their own local neighborhood. The spatial structure was represented by a one- or two-dimensional lattice. Schelling showed that an integrated society will generally unravel into a rather segregated one even though no individual agent strictly prefers this. We generalize this spatial proximity model to a proximity model of segregation, examining models with individual agents who interact 'locally' in a range of more general social network structures. The levels of segregation attained are in line with those reached in the lattice-based spatial proximity model.

J.E.L. classification codes. C72, C73, D62

Keywords. Spatial proximity model, Social segregation, Schelling, Proximity preferences, Social networks, Undirected graphs, Best-response dynamics

Nick Vriend,
Last modified 2016-02-05