NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Patrick Farrell

Woodrow Wilson School of Public
and International Affairs
Princeton University.

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Princeton University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2019Social Connectedness in Urban Areas
with Michael Bailey, Theresa Kuchler, Johannes Stroebel: w26029
We use anonymized and aggregated data from Facebook to explore the spatial structure of social networks in the New York metro area. We highlight the importance of transportation infrastructure in shaping urban social networks by showing that travel time and travel costs are substantially stronger predictors of social connectedness between zip codes than geographic distance is. We also document significant heterogeneity in the geographic breadth of social networks across New York zip codes, and show that much of this heterogeneity is explained by the ease of access to public transit, even after controlling for socioeconomic characteristics of the zip codes' residents. When we group zip codes with strong social ties into hypothetical communities using an agglomerative clustering algorithm, ...
 
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