I have a hypothesis that people with more social connections on social networking sites will also tend to have higher incomes. What I lack is data. Does anyone know of any good data set for this?

Is there any data linking income and number of social connections on social networking sites?

  • Why do you mention intelligence in the title of your question? It seems to be unrelated to what you're looking for in your description.
    – J-J-J
    Jan 12 at 10:15
  • In addition, if you collect data only from users of social networking websites, you leave aside people who don't have account on these sites (in other words, people who have 0 connection), which could bias your study (e.g. very rich people may not feel they need such accounts; and very poor people may not have time to spend on these sites). Sampling from the whole population could be a better approach, possibly oversampling people who do have social media accounts. The correct approach for sampling depends on your study goal, and is probably more a question for stats.stackexchange.com.
    – J-J-J
    Jan 12 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


There are datasets that allow for inference on social interactions in various context. BoardEx for example will allow you to figure out who's been hanging out with whom in golf clubs for board members of major companies. This is as un-open data as it could be, however, some universities have licences so you might be able to get access. Also twitter data would also be publicly available and easily accessible through the Twitter API.

Beyond the data issue, you are facing serious identification issues. How will you argue causality? How will you argue that any correlation you observe is not just the result of e.g. better looking people earning more and also being more socially active? However, I don't think you'd need to convince anyone that having a specific kind of connections is generally good for your career, all those networking sites/events/agencies serve as evidence for that. And the literature on that is huge, just start reading up on social capital and you'll find an endless literature from sociology, economics an related disciplines.

I am not sure where you are heading with this (scope-wise), but if this is about a thesis or so you might want to narrow yourself down substantially...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.