IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Network Architecture and the Left-Right Spectrum


  • Taubinsky Dmitry

    () (Harvard University and Harvard Business School)


We study a model of opinion formation and analyze the link between network architecture and the “left-right spectrum” that frequently characterizes opinions and beliefs. We correct a key result of DeMarzo, Vayanos and Zwiebel (QJE, 2003) who claim that after some time, an agent’s position on a set of different issues will always be either “left” on all of those issues or “right” on all of those issues. We provide counterexamples to this claim and show that in the long-run an agent’s position can flip-flop between “left” on all issues and “right” on all issues indefinitely. However, we provide necessary and sufficient conditions for a stable left-right characterization of opinions to be possible in the long run. Roughly, a flip-flop will occur when agents give relatively little weight to the opinions of agents with similar political positions (including themselves). Following this intuition, we show that a simple sufficient condition is that agents become “stubborn” over time and give little weight to the opinions of others. Finally, we characterize classes of networks in which it is possible for agents to flip-flop between “left” and “right” indefinitely. We argue that qualitatively, these results are robust to alternative models of opinion formation.

Suggested Citation

  • Taubinsky Dmitry, 2011. "Network Architecture and the Left-Right Spectrum," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-25, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.