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Social networks and non-market valuations

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  • Neilson, William
  • Wichmann, Bruno

Abstract

This paper considers the role of social networks in the non-market valuation of public goods. In the model individuals derive utility both from their own direct enjoyment of the public good and from the enjoyment of those in their network. We find that network structure almost always matters, both for utility and for valuation. The network increases aggregate valuation when it assigns higher importance, that is, stronger connections, to individuals with higher private values for the public good. The model provides a theoretical foundation for the idea of opinion leaders who have disproportionate influence over their communities. Specifically, opinion leaders are individuals assigned high importance by the network, and projects favored by opinion leaders tend to be favored by the network as a whole. The model can also guide future empirical studies by enabling a more structural approach to non-market valuation in a socially connected group.

Suggested Citation

  • Neilson, William & Wichmann, Bruno, 2014. "Social networks and non-market valuations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 155-170.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:67:y:2014:i:2:p:155-170 DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2013.11.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Wichmann & Minjie Chen & Wiktor Adamowicz, 2016. "Social Networks and Choice Set Formation in Discrete Choice Models," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-26, October.
    2. Wiktor L. Adamowicz & Klaus Glenk & Jürgen Meyerhoff, 2014. "Choice modelling research in environmental and resource economics," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 27, pages 661-674 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Bruno Wichmann, 2015. "Agents of Change and the Approximation of Network Outcomes: a Simulation Study," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 17-41, March.
    4. Tsurumi, Tetsuya & Managi, Shunsuke, 2015. "Environmental value of green spaces in Japan: An application of the life satisfaction approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 1-12.

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