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In Search of Stars: Network Formation among Heterogeneous Agents

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  • Goeree,Jacob K.
  • Riedl,Arno
  • Ule,Aljaz

    (METEOR)

Abstract

This paper reports the results of a laboratory experiments on network formation among heterogeneous agents. The experimental design extends the basic Bala-Goyal (2000) model of network formation with decay and two-way flow of benefits by allowing for agents with lower linking costs or higher benefits to others. We consider treatments where agents’ types are common knowledge and treatments where agents’ types are private information. In all treatments, the (efficient) equilibrium network has a “star” structure. We find that with homogeneous agents, equilibrium predictions fail completely. In Contrast, with heterogeneous agents stars frequently occur, often with the high-value or low- cost agent in the center. Stars are not borne but rather develop: in treatments with a high-value agents, the network’s centrality, stability, and efficiency all increase over time. Our results suggest that agents’ heterogeneity is a major determinant for the predominance of star-like structures in real-life social networks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) in its series Research Memorandum with number 032.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2005032

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Keywords: microeconomics ;

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  1. Jackson, Matthew O. & Rogers, Brian W., 2005. "Search in the formation of large networks: How random are socially generated networks?," Working Papers 1216, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  7. Sudipta Sarangi & Hans Haller & Jurjen Kamphorst, . "(Non-)Existence and Scope of Nash Networks," Departmental Working Papers 2005-14, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  8. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal, 2002. "Network Formation with Heterogeneous Players," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-069/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. McBride, Michael, 2008. "Position-specific information in social networks: Are you connected?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 283-295, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. S. Rosenkranz & G.U. Weitzel, 2008. "Network Structure and Strategic Investments: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 08-24, Utrecht School of Economics.
  2. Sanjeev Goyal & Stephanie Rosenkranz & Utz Weitzel & Vincent Buskens, 2014. "Individual Search and Social Networks," Working Papers 2014.49, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2009. "On Inequity Aversion - A Reply to Binmore and Shaked," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 256, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. Kirchsteiger, Georg & Mantovani, Marco & Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent, 2011. "Myopic or Farsighted? An Experiment on Network Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8263, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Anna Contea & Daniela T. Di Cagno & Emanuela Sciubbad, 2011. "Behavioural patterns in social networks," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-060, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  6. Harmsen-van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Dellaert, Benedict G.C. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques, 2008. "Behavorial Effects in Individual Decisions of Network Formation," Research Memorandum 019, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  7. Boris van Leeuwen & Theo Offerman & Arthur Schram, 2013. "Superstars Need Social Benefits: An Experiment on Network Formation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-112/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Rong Rong & Daniel Houser, 2012. "Growing Stars: A Laboratory Analysis of Network Formation," Working Papers 1035, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Oct 2012.
  9. Anthony Ziegelmeyer & Katinka Pantz, 2005. "Collaborative Networks in Experimental Triopolies," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-38, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  10. Doğan, Gönül & van Assen, Marcel & Potters, Jan, 2013. "The effect of link costs on simple buyer–seller networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 229-246.

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