Heritability in Friendship Networks

28 Pages Posted: 12 May 2021

See all articles by Michael Neugart

Michael Neugart

Technical University of Darmstadt

Selen Yildirim

Darmstadt University of Technology - Department of Law and Economics; Goethe University Frankfurt - Graduate School of Economics, Finance and Management (GSEFM)

Date Written: November 4, 2020

Abstract

There is considerable evidence nowadays that friendship networks account for a large part of an individual's success or failure in life. Little, however, is known about the extent to which friendship networks are associated with an individual's genotype. Using data from the German TwinLife study, we explore, within a classical twin design, whether friendship networks are related to genes. We find a substantial heritability component in twins' network sizes and network homophily, but not in twins' network closeness. The genetic influence on network characteristics may be attributable to traits which are themselves influenced by genetic factors. Addressing indirect ways in which genes could influence network characteristics, we do not find evidence that shared hobbies or Big Five personality traits affect networks.

Keywords: social networks, twins, behavioral genetics, hobbies, Big Five

JEL Classification: D90

Suggested Citation

Neugart, Michael and Yildirim, Selen, Heritability in Friendship Networks (November 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3841407 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3841407

Michael Neugart

Technical University of Darmstadt ( email )

Hochschulstra├če 1
Darmstadt, 64289
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.vwl3.wi.tu-darmstadt.de

Selen Yildirim (Contact Author)

Darmstadt University of Technology - Department of Law and Economics ( email )

D-64283 Darmstadt
Germany

Goethe University Frankfurt - Graduate School of Economics, Finance and Management (GSEFM) ( email )

House of Finance
Gr├╝neburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

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