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Boundedly rational opinion dynamics in social networks: Does indegree matter?

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  • Battiston, Pietro
  • Stanca, Luca

Abstract

This paper investigates opinion dynamics and social influence in directed communication networks. We study the theoretical properties of a boundedly rational model of opinion formation in which individuals aggregate the information they receive from their neighbors by using weights that are a function of neighbors’ indegree. We then present the results of a laboratory experiment explicitly designed to test the causal effect of indegree on social influence. We find that the social influence of an agent is positively affected by the number of individuals she listens to. When forming their opinions, agents take into account the structure of their communication network, although only to a limited extent.

Suggested Citation

  • Battiston, Pietro & Stanca, Luca, 2015. "Boundedly rational opinion dynamics in social networks: Does indegree matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 400-421.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:119:y:2015:i:c:p:400-421
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.08.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stefano DellaVigna & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "Persuasion: Empirical Evidence," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 643-669, September.
    2. Rainer Hegselmann & Ulrich Krause, 2002. "Opinion Dynamics and Bounded Confidence Models, Analysis and Simulation," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 5(3), pages 1-2.
    3. Buechel, Berno & Hellmann, Tim & Klößner, Stefan, 2015. "Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 240-257.
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    5. Acemoglu, Daron & Bimpikis, Kostas & Ozdaglar, Asuman, 2014. "Dynamics of information exchange in endogenous social networks," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(1), January.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2011. "Opinion Dynamics and Learning in Social Networks," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 3-49, March.
    7. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 1998. "Learning from Neighbours," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 595-621.
    8. Corazzini, Luca & Pavesi, Filippo & Petrovich, Beatrice & Stanca, Luca, 2012. "Influential listeners: An experiment on persuasion bias in social networks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1276-1288.
    9. Peter M. DeMarzo & Dimitri Vayanos & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 2003. "Persuasion Bias, Social Influence, and Unidimensional Opinions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 909-968.
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    11. Jadbabaie, Ali & Molavi, Pooya & Sandroni, Alvaro & Tahbaz-Salehi, Alireza, 2012. "Non-Bayesian social learning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 210-225.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Goldbaum, 2016. "Conformity and Influence," Working Paper Series 35, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    2. repec:bpj:bejtec:v:19:y:2019:i:1:p:29:n:15 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:46-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Vegard H. Larsen & Leif Anders Thorsrud, 2018. "Business cycle narratives," Working Paper 2018/3, Norges Bank.
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:158:y:2019:i:c:p:15-32 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social networks; Learning; Social influence; Bounded rationality;

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • 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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