The spatiality of personal networks in four countries : a comparative study

Conference Contribution

Kowald, M., Berg, van den, P.E.W., Frei, A., Carrasco, J.A., Arentze, T.A., Axhausen, K.W., Mok, D., Timmermans, H.J.P. & Wellman, B. (2012). The spatiality of personal networks in four countries : a comparative study. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research (IATBR 2012), 15-20 July 2012, Toronto, Canada (pp. 1-31). Read more: Medialink/Full text



Acknowledging the relevance of social networks on (social) travel behavior, the objective of

this paper is to study comparatively the distance patterns between the home locations of social

contacts. Analyses are based on five recent personal network data collections from four

countries: Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Chile. Multilevel models, which

explicitly account for the hierarchical structure of the data sets, are used to study the role of

the explanatory variables to understand the spatiality of social contacts. Modeling results

suggest that alter’s characteristics (such as type of relationship, emotional closeness, and

duration of the relationship) as well as personal network composition (alters with a certain

relationship with the ego) constitute stronger predictors than ego’s socio-demographics across

the countries. In addition, the comparative analyses suggest differences between countries on

relevant key variables such as ego’s income and the ego-alter tie strength.