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An experimental device to elicit social networks

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  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

    ()
    (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada)

  • Ramón Cobo-Reyes

    ()
    (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada)

  • Natalia Jiménez

    (Universidad de Granada)

  • Giovanni Ponti

    ()
    (Universidad de Alicante y Ferrara)

Abstract

This paper proposes an original mechanism to elicit latent social networks. Subjects are invited to reveal their friends’ name and surname, together with a score measuring the strength of relationship. According to the mechanism, subjects are rewarded of a fixed price either a) when they do not name anybody or b) when the scores of a randomly selected (bidirectional) link are sufficiently close. We test the mechanism’s performance in the field. Our main results are: i) a very large percentage of links (75%) were corresponded. ii) the mechanism largely captures strong friendship relations and practically ignores weak relations. A simple model of friend—regarding preferences is developed to explain this evidence.

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File URL: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/wpaper/thepapers05_19.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada. in its series ThE Papers with number 05/19.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 12 Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gra:wpaper:05/19

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Keywords: friendship; networks; experiments; other—regarding preferences.;

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References

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  1. Falk, Armin & Kosfeld, Michael, 2003. "It's All About Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Cary Deck & Cathleen Johnson, 2004. "Link bidding in laboratory networks," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 359-372, 04.
  3. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
  4. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  5. Ernesto Reuben & Frans van Winden, 2006. "Reciprocity and Emotions when Reciprocators Know each other," CESifo Working Paper Series 1674, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Charness, Gary & Corominas-Bosch, Margarida & Frechette, Guillaume R., 2007. "Bargaining and network structure: An experiment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 28-65, September.
  7. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Keser, Claudia, 2002. "Conventions and Local Interaction Structures: Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 177-205, May.
  8. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Pablo Brañas-Garza & María Paz Espinosa, 2006. "Altruism with Social Roots: an Emerging Literature," ThE Papers 06/05, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  2. Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Durán, Miguel A., 2005. "Do experimental subjects favor their friends?," DFAEII Working Papers 2005-12, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.

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