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Discrete Choice with Social Interactions I: Theory

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  • Brock, W.A.
  • Durlauf, S.N.

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Brock, W.A. & Durlauf, S.N., 1995. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions I: Theory," Working papers 9521, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  • Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:9521
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William A. Brock & Cars H. Hommes, 1997. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1059-1096, September.
    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.
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    4. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
    5. Manski, Charles F., 1992. "Identification Problems In The Social Sciences," SSRI Workshop Series 292716, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Social Systems Research Institute.
    6. 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.
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    13. Roland Benabou, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-652.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    UTILITY FUNCTION; MODELS; MATHEMATICS;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C00 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - General
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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