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Friendship Networks

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  • Jan K. Brueckner

Abstract

This paper develops a model of social networks different from those presented in the recent literature. In contrast to existing models, the level of investment in link formation is a continuous decision variable, and links form stochastically rather than deterministically, with the probability depending on the noncooperative investment choices of both parties. Since the network structure is then stochastic rather than deterministic, the actual pattern of links cannot be specified, as in previous models, with the analysis focusing instead on which links are most likely to form. This alternate approach leads to a much simpler mathematical structure than in previous work. The analysis, which is couched in the context of friendship networks, shows that individual investment in friendship formation is too low. In addition, the analysis shows that, in an asymmetric setting where one individual has personal magnetism or a broad group of acquaintances, friendship links involving this attractive agent are most likely to form. Copyright Blackwell Publishing, Inc. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Jan K. Brueckner, 2006. "Friendship Networks," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(5), pages 847-865.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:46:y:2006:i:5:p:847-865
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Job matching, social network and word-of-mouth communication," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 500-522, May.
    2. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
    3. Jackson, Matthew O. & Watts, Alison, 2002. "On the formation of interaction networks in social coordination games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 265-291, November.
    4. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
    5. Jackson, Matthew O. & Watts, Alison, 2002. "The Evolution of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 265-295, October.
    6. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gil S. Epstein & Odelia Heizler (Cohen), 2016. "The formation of networks in the diaspora," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 1136-1153, October.
    2. Aditi Roy & Sudipta Sarangi, 2009. "Revisiting Friendship Networks," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2640-2647.
    3. Helsley, Robert W. & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Social networks and interactions in cities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 426-466.
    4. Gil S. Epstein & Odelia Heizler (Cohen), 2016. "Networks in the Diaspora," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1604, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    5. Joost Vandenbossche & Thomas Demuynck, 2013. "Network Formation with Heterogeneous Agents and Absolute Friction," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 23-45, June.
    6. Bloch, Francis & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2009. "Communication networks with endogenous link strength," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 39-56, May.
    7. Jan K. Brueckner & Oleg Smirnov, 2007. "Workings Of The Melting Pot: Social Networks And The Evolution Of Population Attributes," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 209-228, May.
    8. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:6:p:744-764 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Konovalov, Alexander, 2014. "Competition and Cooperation in Network Games," Working Papers in Economics 583, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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