Murase, 2019 has a sentence that

Thus even a relatively weak preference for homophilic relationships would tend to be amplified over time, via a cumulative advantage

Basically, they mean that weak homophilic relationship (relationship between people having no common acquaintance) can be amplified over time due to cumulative advantage. However, they did not explain why it happen, could you please help me to explain it?

I did a search about "cumulative advantage" but I still cannot not link the concept to this situation

Cumulative Advantage states that once a social agent gains a small advantage over other agents, that advantage will compound over time into an increasingly larger advantage. The effect is well known and is embodied in "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer".


1 Answer 1


A homophilic relationship is: "the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others"

I'd re-write

"the rich get richer"

in this context (or vice-versa) as:

"those with weak homophilic relationships get more homophilic relationships"

in the context of this paper. Basically, because this structure of relationship is conducive to forming more homophilic links, its presence tends to encourage more homophilic groups, even if the extent of homophily starts out weak.

You can think of a strong community structure where everyone in an in-group is friends with everyone else; anyone introduced to the group is going to end up with a relationship with everyone in the group.

The authors are saying the same is true even if the links are initially weak.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, Bryan, a very clear answer $\endgroup$ Nov 1, 2021 at 22:15

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