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

Konstantin Büchel and Maximilian von Ehrlich

No 6568, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: Social interactions are considered pivotal to agglomeration economies. We explore a unique dataset on mobile phone calls to examine how distance and population density shape the structure of social interactions. Exploiting an exogenous change in travel times, we show that distance is highly detrimental to interpersonal exchange. Despite distance-related costs, we find no evidence that urban residents benefit from larger networks when spatial sorting is accounted for. Higher density rather generates a more efficient network in terms of matching and clustering. These differences in network structure capitalize into land prices, corroborating the hypothesis that agglomeration economies operate via network efficiency.

Keywords: social interactions; agglomeration externalities; network analysis; spatial sorting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 D85 R10 R23 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo, nep-ict, nep-net, nep-pay, nep-soc and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

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Related works:
Journal Article: Cities and the structure of social interactions: Evidence from mobile phone data (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Cities and the Structure of Social Interactions: Evidence from Mobile Phone Data (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Cities and the Structure of Social Interactions: Evidence from Mobile Phone Data (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Cities and the Structure of Social Interactions: Evidence from Mobile Phone Data (2016) Downloads
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