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Social Networks and New Product Choice

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  • Timothy J. Richards
  • Stephen F. Hamilton
  • William J. Allender

Abstract

To successfully market new products in a social network it is essential to identify influential individuals whose product recommendations influence the consumption choices of their peers. In this study, we use spatial econometric methods to determine how individuals revise their preferences for product attributes when exposed to product recommendations from peers, and how different individuals who vary in their degree of network connectedness exert influence on the product choices of others. We find evidence that consumers look to others for guidance from peers in their preference for subjective, taste-specific parameters, but tend not to respond to peer price choices. Our spatial methods allow us to empirically determine the influence exerted by individual members on the consumption choices of other members of the social network. We find that connected members of the social network are not always the most influential in revising the consumption choices of others. Our estimates reveal that network proximity explains only 8.8% of influence.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Richards & Stephen F. Hamilton & William J. Allender, 2014. "Social Networks and New Product Choice," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(2), pages 489-516.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:96:y:2014:i:2:p:489-516.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ajae/aat116
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    Cited by:

    1. Conrad Murendo & Meike Wollni & Alan De Brauw & Nicholas Mugabi, 2018. "Social Network Effects on Mobile Money Adoption in Uganda," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(2), pages 327-342, February.
    2. Bonnet, Céline & Richards, Timothy J., 2016. "Models of Consumer Demand for Differentiated Products," TSE Working Papers 16-741, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    3. 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.
    4. Bazzani, Claudia & Nayga, Rodolfo M. Jr. & Caputo, Vincenzina & Canavari, Maurizio & Danforth, Diana M., 2016. "On the Use of the BDM Mechanism in Non-Hypothetical Choice Experiments," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235904, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Fang, Di & Richards, Timothy, 2016. "New Maize Variety Adoption in Mozambique: A Spatial Approach," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235388, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Maurizio Canavari & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Jayson L. Lusk & Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr., 2018. "How to run an experimental auction: A review of recent advances," Working Papers 2018-5, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.
    7. Hübler, Michael, 2015. "Labor mobility and technology diffusion: A new concept and its application to rural Southeast Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 137-151.
    8. repec:bla:canjag:v:66:y:2018:i:3:p:469-488 is not listed on IDEAS

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