Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 8
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Mascareño, Aldo Goles, Eric and Ruz, Gonzalo A. 2016. Crisis in complex social systems: A social theory view illustrated with the chilean case. Complexity, p. n/a.

    Porter, Mason A. and Gleeson, James P. 2016. Dynamical Systems on Networks.

    Scatà, Marialisa Di Stefano, Alessandro La Corte, Aurelio Liò, Pietro Catania, Emanuele Guardo, Ermanno and Pagano, Salvatore 2016. Combining evolutionary game theory and network theory to analyze human cooperation patterns. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Vol. 91, p. 17.

    Jackson, Matthew O. and Zenou, Yves 2015.

    Muñoz, Francisco Nuño, Juan Carlos and Primicerio, Mario 2015. Effects of inspections in small world social networks with different contagion rules. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Vol. 432, p. 76.

    Jackson, Matthew O. 2014. Networks in the Understanding of Economic Behaviors†. Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 28, Issue. 4, p. 3.

    Stanton, Richard Walden, Johan and Wallace, Nancy 2014. The Industrial Organization of the US Residential Mortgage Market. Annual Review of Financial Economics, Vol. 6, Issue. 1, p. 259.

    Kamath, Anant 2013. Interactive knowledge exchanges under complex social relations: A simulation model of a developing country cluster. Technology in Society, Vol. 35, Issue. 4, p. 294.


Diffusion and contagion in networks with heterogeneous agents and homophily

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2013

We study the diffusion of an idea, a product, a disease, a cultural fad, or a technology among agents in a social network that exhibits segregation or homophily (the tendency of agents to associate with others similar to themselves). Individuals are distinguished by their types—e.g., race, gender, age, wealth, religion, profession—which, together with biased interaction patterns, induce heterogeneous rates of adoption or infection. We identify the conditions under which a behavior or disease diffuses and becomes persistent in the population. These conditions relate to the level of homophily in a society and the underlying proclivities of various types for adoption or infection. In particular, we show that homophily can facilitate diffusion from a small initial seed of adopters.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

S. Aral , L. Muchnik , & A. Sundararajan (2009). Distinguishing influence-based contagion from homophily-driven diffusion in dynamic networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (51), 2154421549.

A. Galeotti , S. Goyal , M. O. Jackson , F. Vega-Redondo , & L. Yariv (2010). Network games. The Review of Economic Studies, 77 (1), 218244.

B. Golub , & M. O. Jackson (2012a). How homophily affects the speed of learning and best response dynamics. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127 (3), 12871338.

B. Golub , & M. O. Jackson (2012b). Does homophily predict consensus times? Testing a model of network structure via a dynamic process. Review of Network Economics, 11 (3), Article 9.

J. Gómez-Gardeñes , V. Latora , Y. Moreno , & E. Profumo (2008). Spreading of sexually transmitted diseases in heterosexual populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105 (5), 13991404.

M. O. Jackson , & L. Yariv (2007). Diffusion of behavior and equilibrium properties in network Games. The American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings), 97 (2), 9298.

D. López-Pintado (2006). Contagion and coordination in random networks. International Journal of Game Theory, 34, 371381.

D. López-Pintado (2008). Diffusion in complex social networks. Games and Economic Behavior, 62, 573590.

D. López-Pintado (2012). Influence networks. Games and Economic Behavior, 75, 776787.

M. McPherson , L. Smith-Lovin , & J. M. Cook (2001). Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 415444.

M. E. J. Newman (2002). The spread of epidemic disease on networks. Physical Review E, 66, 016128.

R. Pastor-Satorras , & A. Vespignani (2000). Epidemic spreading in scale-free networks. Physical Review Letters, 86 (14), 32003203.

R. Pastor-Satorras , & A. Vespignani (2001). Epidemic dynamics and endemic states in complex networks. Physical Review E, 63, 066117.

T. C. Reluga (2009). An SIS epidemiology game with two subpopulations. Journal of Biological Dynamics, 3 (5), 515531.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Network Science
  • ISSN: 2050-1242
  • EISSN: 2050-1250
  • URL: /core/journals/network-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *