Cities and the Structure of Social Interactions: Evidence from Mobile Phone Data

Büchel, Konstantin; von Ehrlich, Maximilian (December 2016). Cities and the Structure of Social Interactions: Evidence from Mobile Phone Data (Discussion Papers 16-08). Bern: Department of Economics

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Social interactions are considered pivotal to urban agglomeration forces. This study employs a unique dataset on mobile phone calls to examine how social interactions differ across cities and peripheral areas. We first show that geographical distance is highly detrimental to interpersonal exchange. We then reveal that individuals residing in high-density locations do not benefit from larger social networks, but from a more efficient structure in terms of higher matching quality and lower clustering. These results are derived from two complementary approaches: Based on a link formation model, we examine how geographical distance, network overlap, and sociodemographic (dis)similarities impact the likelihood that two agents interact. We further decompose the effects from individual, location, and time specific determinants on micro-level network measures by exploiting information on mobile phone users who change their place of residence.

Item Type:

Working Paper

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics

UniBE Contributor:

Büchel, Konstantin and v. Ehrlich, Maximilian

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

Series:

Discussion Papers

Publisher:

Department of Economics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lars Tschannen

Date Deposited:

26 Feb 2021 14:47

Last Modified:

26 Feb 2021 14:47

JEL Classification:

R1, R23, Z13, D85

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/145833

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/145833

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