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Does Network Theory Connect to the Rest of Us? A Review of Matthew O. Jackson's Social and Economic Networks

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  • James E. Rauch

Abstract

The ubiquity of networks in our social lives has long been recognized, and their importance in our economic lives is increasingly recognized as well. Yet the literature synthesized in Matthew O. Jackson's Social and Economic Networks, which covers the theory of how networks form, decay, and shape behavior at a general level, has had little influence on either applied theory or empirical work in this area. This is partly because of limitations of network theory as it has evolved in this literature. After describing the network theory presented in the book, I discuss these limitations and make some tentative suggestions as to how they might be overcome. (JEL D85, L14, Z13)

Suggested Citation

  • James E. Rauch, 2010. "Does Network Theory Connect to the Rest of Us? A Review of Matthew O. Jackson's Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 980-986, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:48:y:2010:i:4:p:980-86
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.48.4.980
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2006. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 869-902, October.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    3. Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2007. "Complex Social Networks," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521857406, October.
    4. Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2007. "Complex Social Networks," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521674096, October.
    5. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    6. Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter & Sauvageau, Yvon, 1978. "Peer group effects and educational production functions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 97-106, August.
    7. Giorgio Topa, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 261-295.
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    Cited by:

    1. Belhaj Mohamed & Deroïan Frédéric, 2014. "Competing Activities in Social Networks," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(4), pages 1-36, October.
    2. Muange, Elijah N. & Schwarze, Stefan & Qaim, Matin, 2014. "Social networks and farmer exposure to improved crop varieties in Tanzania," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 183635, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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