Network Effects and Social Inequality

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Network Effects and Social Inequality

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Title: Network Effects and Social Inequality
Author: DiMaggio, Paul; Garip, Filiz

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: DiMaggio, Paul, and Filiz Garip. 2012. Network effects and social inequality. Annual Review of Sociology 38: 93-118.
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Abstract: Students of social inequality have noted the presence of mechanisms militating toward cumulative advantage and increasing inequality. Social scientists have established that individuals' choices are influenced by those of their network peers in many social domains. We suggest that the ubiquity of network effects and tendencies toward cumulative advantage are related. Inequality is exacerbated when effects of individual differences are multiplied by social networks: when persons must decide whether to adopt beneficial practices; when network externalities, social learning, or normative pressures influence adoption decisions; and when networks are homophilous with respect to individual characteristics that predict such decisions. We review evidence from literatures on network effects on technology, labor markets, education, demography, and health; identify several mechanisms through which networks may generate higher levels of inequality than one would expect based on differences in initial endowments alone; consider cases in which network effects may ameliorate inequality; and describe research priorities.
Published Version: doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.012809.102545
Other Sources: http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/garip/files/dimaggio_garip_ars_2012.pdf
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10886837
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