New Publication by PhD fellow Rocco Paolillo › view all


How Different Homophily Preferences Mitigate and Spur Ethnic and Value Segregation: Schelling's Model Extended

BIGSSS-departs PhD fellow Rocco Paolillo published a new article on "How Different Homophily Preferences Mitigate and Spur Ethnic and Value Segregation: Schelling's Model Extended" with co-author and BIGSSS faculty member Jan Lorenz. The article was published in the journal Advances in Complex Systems.

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In Schelling's segregation model, agents of two ethnic groups reside in a regular grid and aim to live in a neighborhood that matches the minimum desired fraction of members of the same ethnicity. The model shows that observed segregation can emerge from people interacting under spatial constraints following homophily preferences. Even mild preferences can generate high degrees of segregation at the macro level. In modern, ethnically diverse societies, people might not define similarity based on ethnicity. Instead, shared tolerance towards ethnic diversity might play a more significant role, impacting segregation and integration in societies. With this consideration, we extend Schelling's model by dividing the population of agents into value-oriented and ethnicity-oriented agents. Using parameter sweeping, we explore the consequences that the mutual adaptation of these two types of agents has on ethnic segregation, value segregation, and population density in the neighborhood. We examine for equally sized ethnic groups and for majority–minority conditions. The introduction of value-oriented agents reduces total ethnic segregation compared to Schelling's original model, but the new value segregation appears to be more pronounced than ethnic segregation. Due to spillover effects, stronger ethnic homophily preferences lead not only to greater ethnic segregation, but also to more value segregation. Stronger value-orientation of the tolerant agents similarly leads to increased ethnic segregation of the ethnicity-oriented agents. Also, value-oriented agents tend to live in neighborhoods with more agents than ethnicity-oriented agents. In majority–minority settings, such effects appear to be more drastic for the minority than the majority ethnicity.