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Getting the Right Spin: A Theory of Value of Social Networks

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  • Pier-André Bouchard St-Amant

    ()
    (Queen`s Economics Department)

Abstract

I examine the problem of maximizing the spread of information in a context where users of a network decide which piece of information is shared. A company thus provides initial information to some users and they then choose what to share to their neighbours. These actions of sharing and choosing produce the characteristics of word-of-mouth advertising over time. I then answer the two following questions: what is the best word-of-mouth campaign that the company can perform and second, what is the value of such a campaign? The optimal solution can be understood as a Nash Equilibria that maximizes the concentration of the initial information to a small group of users. Such solution contrasts with standard measures of user influence and I show that they can sometime be seriously misleading. I provide an exact solution for a wide class of generic network topologies and an algorithm to compute it in polynomial time.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1293.pdf
File Function: First version 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1293.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1293

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Related research

Keywords: Network Theory; Viral Communication; Word of Mouth Advertising;

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  1. Constanza Fosco & Annick Laruelle & Angel Sánchez, 2011. "Turnout Intention And Random Social Networks," Advances in Complex Systems (ACS), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 14(01), pages 31-53.
  2. Bala, V. & Goyal, S., 1995. "Learning from Neighbors," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 9549-/A, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  3. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  4. Ting Liu & Pasquale Schiraldi, 2012. "New product launch: herd seeking or herd preventing?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 627-648, November.
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