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Germs, Social Networks and Growth

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  • Fogli, Alessandra
  • Veldkamp, Laura

Abstract

Does the pattern of social connections between individuals matter for macroeconomic outcomes? If so, how does this effect operate and how big is it? Using network analysis tools, we explore how different social structures affect technology diffusion and thereby a country’s rate of technological progress. The network model also explains why societies with a high prevalence of contagious disease might evolve toward growth-inhibiting social institutions and how small initial differences can produce large divergence in incomes. Empirical work uses differences in the prevalence of diseases spread by human contact and the prevalence of other diseases as an instrument to identify an effect of social structure on technology diffusion.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9188.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9188

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Keywords: development; disease; economic networks; growth; pathogens; social networks; technology diffusion;

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  8. Benjamin Moll & Robert E. Lucas, 2011. "Knowledge Growth and the Allocation of Time," 2011 Meeting Papers 1030, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Elsner, Benjamin & Narciso, Gaia & Thijssen, Jacco J. J., 2013. "Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation," IZA Discussion Papers 7863, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Lindner, Ines & Strulik, Holger, 2014. "From tradition to modernity: Economic growth in a small world," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 17-29.
  3. Paolo Zeppini & Koen Frenken & Luis R. Izquierdo, 2013. "Innovation diffusion in networks: the microeconomics of percolation," Working Papers 13-02, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Feb 2013.

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