The Structure of Online Consumer Communication Networks
AbstractWe analyze the structure of bilateral communication links among consumers in virtual communities by a game-theoretic model of network formation. First, link specificity is incorporated, meaning that the more direct links somebody has to maintain with others, the less she is able to specify her attention per link, so that the value of her links decreases. Second, a distinction is made between the social and informational value from communication, where informational value is transferable via indirect links, whereas social value is not. We characterize the set of pairwise stable structures in the case with only social value to indicate the separate impact of link specificity and demonstrate that it includes a wide range of non-standard architectures under large link specificity and particular combinations of fully connected components under low link specificity. In the case with both social and informational value, the joint effect of link specificity and value transferability is shown to reduce the pairwise stable set to particular fragmented architectures under large link specificity or rather to the complete network under small link specificity.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 3/2010.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Consumers; Virtual Communities; Bilateral Communication Links; Social vs. Informational Value; Specificity; Transferability; Network Formation; Game Theory;
Other versions of this item:
- Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Dellaert ,Benedict G.C., 2006. "The Structure of Online Consumer Communication Networks," Research Memorandum 028, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
- A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
- C79 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Other
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
- M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
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