News
March 5 2012

Venice: FEEM seminar on Homophily and Identity Bias in Social Networks



Sergio Currarini, local coordinator of the Coalition Theory Network (CTN) team at FEEM, will report recent experimental results on pervasive phenomena in social behaviour that relate to different manifestations of discrimination towards others. CTN is an association of eight high level scientific institutions, aimed at the advancement and diffusion of theoretical and empirical analysis of socio-economic networks and groups.

The Coalition Theory Network (CTN) is an association of eight high level scientific institutions, aimed at the advancement and diffusion of theoretical and empirical analysis of socio-economic networks and groups. Since 1998, date of its formal conception, its members have continued the tradition to organise an annual workshop, that has succeeded in making the Network a point of reference for European scientists in this research area.


The research activity of the Coalition Theory Network attains to different aspects of social and economic systems, including the management of international public goods, the governance of economic unions, the formation of industrial cartels and collaborations, the patterns of racial integration in social networks, the endogenous evolution and structure of institutions, the functioning of networked markets, etc.


In the CTN 2012 Workshop, recently held in Paris at Université Paris 1, contributions have focused on the analysis of financial networks. The aim is to use economic theory and game theory, together with the recent advances in the study of network formation, to better understand and predict the dynamics of banks' and investors' behaviour in response to shocks of the type experienced during the recent financial crisis. Keynote speakers included, among others, leading scholars in network theory and financial markets such as Matthew Jackson of Stanford University and Frank Allen of University of Pennsylvania.
 
The forthcoming seminar at FEEM (March 8, 2012) will be held by Sergio Currarini, FEEM associate researcher from Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Sergio's research has recently focused on the analysis of segregation and integration in social and economic networks. The paper will report recent experimental results on some pervasive phenomena in social behaviour that relate to different manifestations of discrimination towards others. The first, in-group bias, relates to the tendency of agents to adopt nicer behaviour towards opponents that are perceived to belong to their same group or to share the same identity. The second, homophily, relates to the tendency of agents to favour the formation of social interaction with similar agents. As shown in this work, these phenomena are highly correlated, and their interplay has unexpected consequences on the patterns of discrimination in society.


Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

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