Differential Network Effects on Economic Outcomes: A Structural Perspective

  • Eaman JahaniEmail author
  • Guillaume Saint-Jacques
  • Pål Sundsøy
  • Johannes Bjelland
  • Esteban Moro
  • Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10540)


In a study of about 33,000 individuals in a south Asian country, we find that structural diversity, measured as the fraction of open triads in an ego-network, shows a relatively strong association with individual income. After including all the relevant control variables, the effect of structural diversity becomes exclusive to the highly educated individuals. We hypothesize these results are due to concentrated distribution of economic opportunities among the highly educated social strata combined with homophily among members of the same group. This process leads to two important societal consequences: extra network advantages for the highly educated, similar to the rich club effect, and inadequate diffusion of economic opportunities to the low educated social strata.


Ego-networks Structural diversity Income Social status 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. 1122374. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eaman Jahani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guillaume Saint-Jacques
    • 2
  • Pål Sundsøy
    • 3
  • Johannes Bjelland
    • 3
  • Esteban Moro
    • 4
    • 5
  • Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute for Data, Systems and SocietyMITCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Sloan School of ManagementMITCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Telenor Group ResearchFornebuNorway
  4. 4.Universidad Carlos III de MadridMadridSpain
  5. 5.Media LabMITCambridgeUSA

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