If a new study is to be believed, socioeconomic well-being may stem not from working hard or going to a good college, but from how diverse your contacts are. After processing data from the UK's communication network and an index of economic prosperity, researchers think that financial success may rest at least in part in how different the members of your network are from you and each other.
Research on the relationship between social networks and job prosperity is not new. In 1969, for example, graduate student Mark Granovetter sent mass mailings and interviewed people in Newton, MA to find out how they got their jobs. His findings were empirically similar to many others before and since: it is not our close friends, but our "weak social ties," like acquaintances or friends of friends, that are the best sources of jobs because they can connect us to new information and situations.