(Bloomberg) -- At an April meetup organized by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), a Facebook researcher named Michael Bailey showed his peers how somebody in Detroit might be willing to pay more for a home if he or she had lots of Facebook friends living in a high-priced housing market such as San Francisco.

For their paper, Bailey and his co-authors had matched public records on 525,000 home sales to anonymized data for 1.4 million Facebook users.

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