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Sept. 24 | Networks, Diffusion and Inequality

  • 509 Knox Hall 606 West 122nd Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

WHEN: Monday, September 24, 2018, 12 - 1:30 PM

WHERE: 509 Knox Hall, 606 W 122nd Street

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. All are welcome!

Prior work defines network externalities (where the value of a practice is a function of network alters that have already adopted the practice) as a mechanism exacerbating social inequality under the condition of homophily (where advantaged individuals poised to be primary adopters are socially connected to other advantaged individuals). This work does not consider consolidation (correlation between traits), a population parameter that is essential to network formation and diffusion. Using a computational model, we first show that prior findings linking homophily to segregated social ties and to differential diffusion outcomes are contingent on high levels of consolidation. Homophily, under low consolidation, is not sufficient to exacerbate existing differences in adoption probabilities across groups, and can even end up alleviating inter-group inequality by facilitating diffusion. We then apply this idea to the empirical case of Mexico-U.S. migration. We show that homophily and consolidation allow us to capture the structural constraints to diffusion, and explain why some newly-emerging migrant communities eventually come to surpass historic migrant regions in levels of migration.

Filiz Garip is a Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. Her research lies at the intersection of migration, economic sociology, and inequality. She is the author of the book On the Move: Changing Mechanisms of Mexico-U.S. Migration. Her articles have been published in Population and Development Review, Demography, Social Forces and the American Journal of Sociology.

This event is co-sponsored by the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration (REM) Workshop.

The Networks and Time seminar is part of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series sponsored by INCITE (Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics).

Knox Hall is located at the intersection of West 122nd Street and Broadway (606 West 122nd Street, New York, NY 10027).

For inquiries about Networks and Time, please contact Mark Hoffman ( or Eugene Grey (

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