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The Law of the Few

  • Andrea Galeotti
  • Sanjeev Goyal

Empirical work shows that a large majority of individuals get most of their information from a very small subset of the group, viz., the influencers; moreover, there exist only minor differences between the observable characteristics of the influencers and the others. We refer to these empirical findings as the Law of the Few. This paper develops a model where players personally acquire information and form connections with others to access their information. Every (robust) equilibrium of this model exhibits the law of the few. (JEL D83, D85, Z13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1468-92

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:4:p:1468-92
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.4.1468
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  1. Bloch, Francis & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "The formation of networks with transfers among players," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 83-110, March.
  2. Jack Hirshleifer, 1983. "From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 371-386, January.
  3. Antonio Cabrales & Piero Gottardi, 2008. "Markets for Information: Of Inefficient Firewalls and Efficient Monopolies," CESifo Working Paper Series 2336, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Yann Bramoulle & Rachel Kranton, 2005. "Strategic Experimentation in Networks," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 784828000000000417, www.najecon.org.
  5. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 3966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Glen W. Harrison & Jack Hirshleifer, 1998. "An experimental evaluation of weakest link/best shot models of public goods," Levine's Working Paper Archive 299, David K. Levine.
  7. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "Network Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
  8. Antonio Cabrales & Antoni Calvo-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2007. "Effort and synergies in network formation," Economics Working Papers we072515, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  9. Andrea Galeotti, 2006. "One-way flow networks: the role of heterogeneity," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 163-179, September.
  10. Myeonghwan Cho, 2010. "Endogenous formation of networks for local public goods," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 529-562, October.
  11. Hojman, Daniel & Szeidl, Adam, 2006. "Core and Periphery in Endogenous Networks," Working Paper Series rwp06-022, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  12. Hojman, Daniel A. & Szeidl, Adam, 2008. "Core and periphery in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 295-309, March.
  13. Sanjeev Goyal, 2007. "Introduction to Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks
    [Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
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