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Discrete Choice with Social Interactions I: Theory

  • Brock, W.A.
  • Durlauf, S.N.

This paper provides an analysis of aggregate behavioral outcomes when individual utility exhibits social interaction effects. We study generalized logistic models of individual choice which incorporate terms reflecting the desire of individuals to conform to the behavior of others in an environment of noncooperative decisionmaking. Laws of large numbers are generated in such environments. Multiplicity of equilibria in these models, which are equivalent to the existence of multiple self-consistent means for average choice behavior, will exist when the social interactions exceed a particular threshold. Local stability of these multiple equilibria is also studied. The properties of the noncooperative economy are contrasted with the properties of an economy in which a social planner determines the set of individual choices. The model is additionally shown to be well suited to explaining a number of empirical phenomena, such as threshold effects in individual behavior, ethnic group fixed effects of income equations, and large cross-group differences in binary choice behavior.

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Paper provided by Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems in its series Working papers with number 9521.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:9521
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON, SOCIAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE(S.S.R.I.), MADISON WISCONSIN 53706 U.S.A.

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  1. William A. Brock & Cars H. Hommes, 1995. "Rational Routes to Randomness," Working Papers 95-03-029, Santa Fe Institute.
  2. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
  3. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
  5. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "A Dynamic Theory of Racial Income Differences," Discussion Papers 225, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Brock, W.A. & Hommes, C.H., 1996. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Working papers 9530r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Bénabou, Roland, 1994. "Education, Income Distribution, and Growth: The Local Connection," CEPR Discussion Papers 995, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  9. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  11. John Bryant, 1983. "A Simple Rational Expectations Keynes-type Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 525-528.
  12. Steven N. Durlauf, 1993. "Nonergodic Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 349-366.
  13. Manski, C.F., 1992. "Identification Problems in the Social Sciences," Working papers 9217, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
  15. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. William A. Brock, 1993. "Pathways to randomness in the economy: Emergent nonlinearity and chaos in economics and finance," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 8(1), pages 3-55.
  17. Follmer, Hans, 1974. "Random economies with many interacting agents," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 51-62, March.
  18. Ionnides, Yannis M, 1990. "Trading Uncertainty and Market Form," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 619-38, August.
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