The Speed of Learning, Mixing Time and other Network Characteristics:
The effects of Homophily and Segregation Patterns

Abstract: Homophily, the tendency of people to associate with others of similar backgrounds and interests, is prevalent. Networks that look otherwise similar in terms of their characteristics but have different levels of homophily can exhibit different properties. For example, if people communicate via word-of-mouth then the speed at which they learn depends on the level of homophily in a society. I will show that homophily does not impact the average distance or diameter of a network, but nonetheless it has a (nonlinear) effect on the speed of learning.

Biography: Matthew O. Jackson is the William D. Eberle Professor of Economics at Stanford University.  Jackson's research interests include the study of social and economic networks.  He has applied game theoretic reasoning to the study of network formation and also worked on theories of the roles of social networks in transmitting information and influencing behavior.  He has examined how hiring through social networks affects wage inequality and social mobility, and has recently been examining the impact of segregation and homophily in networks.    He has also made contributions to the study of ``mechanism design and implementation theory, including studies of the design of institutions ranging from markets and voting systems to the design of mutual-insurance systems in rural economies.    Jackson has received the Social Choice and Welfare Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences, the B.E.Press Arrow Prize for Senior Economists, and has delivered the Nancy Schwartz Lecture and the Fischer Schultz Lecture, and is a Fellow of the Econometric Society.  Professor Jackson has served on the editorial boards of Econometrica, the Journal of Economic Theory,  the Journal of Public Economic Theory, Mathematical Social Sciences, the Review of Economic Design, Social Choice and Welfare, and Theoretical Economics, was co-editor of the Econometric Society Monograph Series and is an editor of Games and Economic Behavior.  He serves on the councils of the Econometric Society, the Game Theory Society, and the Society for Social Choice and Welfare.    He received his BA from Princeton University in 1984 and his PhD from Stanford University in 1988 and went on to join the faculties of Northwestern University and the California Institute of Technology before returning to Stanford in 2006.

Matt jackson