A new research article published July 6 by PNAS builds on decades of social science studies about the importance of long-tie relationships and social networking. The article, Long Ties, Disruptive Life Events, and Economic Prosperity, supports the idea that “identified long ties, which connect people who lack mutual contacts, correlates with individuals’ success within firms and places’ economic prosperity.”
The authors,provide evidence of a robust positive relationship between the share of long ties and economic outcomes both at the individual and local levels in the United States and Mexico. Furthermore, we uncover that the formation of long ties is associated with disruptive life events such as migrating to another state or transferring to a different high school, which points to potential mechanisms responsible for forming and maintaining these valuable connections.”
READ THE Q&A WITH EAMAN JAHANI HERE.
- First, the authors use Facebook public comments to analyze individual-level differences at the population scale.
- Second, the authors weight the fraction of long ties by taking into account the intensity of communication between network neighbors.
- Third, the authors use school closures as an instrument in a quasi-experimental test of the formative impact of adolescent network mobility.
- Finally, “the paper is a refreshing antidote to the overemphasis in social science on publishing surprising results. Instead, the authors demonstrate the importance of contributing to cumulative knowledge by confirming hypotheses derived from foundational theory while at the same time elaborating on what was previously known by digging deeper into the underlying causal mechanisms.”