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Networks and Collective Action

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  • Ramon Flores

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Maurice Koster

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Ines Lindner

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Elisenda Molina

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

This paper proposes a new measure for a group's ability to lead society to adopt their standard of behavior, which in particular takes account of the time the group takes to convince the whole society to adopt their position. This notion of a group's power to initiate action is computed as the reciprocal of the resistance against it, which is in turn given by the expected absorption time of a related finite state partial Markov chain that captures the social dynamics. The measure is applicable and meaningful in a variety of models where interaction between agents is formalized through (weighted) binary relations. Using Percolation Theory, it is shown that the group power is monotonic as a function of groups of agents. We also explain the differences between our measure and those discussed in the literature on Graph Theory, and illustrate all these concerns by a thorough analysis of two particular cases: the Wolfe Primate Data and the 11S hijackers' network.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 12-032/1.

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Date of creation: 29 Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20120032

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: Collective action; Social networks; Influence and diffusion models; Network intervention; Group centrality measures;

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  1. Brown, Jacqueline Johnson & Reingen, Peter H, 1987. " Social Ties and Word-of-Mouth Referral Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 350-62, December.
  2. repec:oxf:wpaper:303 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  4. H Peyton Young, 2000. "The Diffusion of Innovations in Social Networks," Economics Working Paper Archive 437, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  5. Leo Katz, 1953. "A new status index derived from sociometric analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 39-43, March.
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