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Inequality and network structure

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Author Info

  • Kets, Willemien
  • Iyengar, Garud
  • Sethi, Rajiv
  • Bowles, Samuel

Abstract

We explore the manner in which the structure of a social network constrains the level of inequality that can be sustained among its members, based on the following considerations: (i) any distribution of value must be stable with respect to coalitional deviations, and (ii) the network structure itself determines the coalitions that may form. We show that if players can jointly deviate only if they form a clique in the network, then the degree of inequality that can be sustained depends on the cardinality of the maximum independent set. For bipartite networks, the size of the maximum independent set fully characterizes the degree of inequality that can be sustained. This result extends partially to general networks and to the case in which a group of players can deviate jointly if they are all sufficiently close to each other in the network.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 215-226

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:73:y:2011:i:1:p:215-226

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

Related research

Keywords: Inequality Networks Cooperative games Lorenz dominance;

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References

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  1. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
  2. Goyal, Sanjeev & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2007. "Structural holes in social networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 460-492, November.
  3. Francis Bloch (GREQAM and Universite de la Mediterranee), Garance Genicot (Georgetown University, and Debraj Ray (New York University and Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)), 2004. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-16, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Iyengar, G. & Kets, W. & Sethi, R. & Bowles, S., 2008. "Inequality and Network Structure," Discussion Paper 2008-76, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Kalai, Ehud & Postlewaite, Andrew & Roberts, John, 1978. "Barriers to trade and disadvantageous middlemen: Nonmonotonicity of the core," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 200-209, October.
  6. van den Nouweland, Anne & Borm, Peter, 1991. "On the Convexity of Communication Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 421-30.
  7. Hojman, Daniel A. & Szeidl, Adam, 2008. "Core and periphery in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 295-309, March.
  8. Dutta, Bhaskar & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "A Concept of Egalitarianism under Participation Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 615-35, May.
  9. Gabrielle Demange, 2004. "On Group Stability in Hierarchies and Networks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 754-778, August.
  10. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2001. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-4, January.
  11. Kaneko, Mamoru & Wooders, Myrna Holtz, 1982. "Cores of partitioning games," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 313-327, December.
  12. Bramoulle, Yann & Kranton, Rachel, 2007. "Public goods in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 478-494, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marianna Belloc & Samuel Bowles, 2013. "The Persistence of Inferior Cultural-Institutional Conventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 93-98, May.
  2. Iyengar, G. & Kets, W. & Sethi, R. & Bowles, S., 2008. "Inequality and Network Structure," Discussion Paper 2008-76, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Newton, Jonathan, 2012. "Coalitional stochastic stability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 842-854.
  4. Vincent Iehlé, 2014. "The lattice structure of the S-Lorenz core," Working Papers halshs-00846826, HAL.
  5. Marianna Belloc & Samuel Bowles, 2012. "The persistence of inferior cultural-institutional conventions," Working Papers 157, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.

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