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The dynamics of closeness and betweenness


  • Buechel, Berno

    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)

  • Buskens, Vincent

    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)


Although both betweenness and closeness centrality are claimed to be important for the effectiveness of someone's network position, it has not been explicitly studied which networks emerge if actors follow incentives for these two positional advantages. We propose such a model and observe that network dynamics differ considerably in a scenario with either betweenness or closeness incentives compared to a scenario in which closeness and betweenness incentives are combined. Considering social consequences, we find low clustering when actors strive for either type of centrality. Surprisingly, actors striving for closeness are likely to reach networks with relatively low closeness and high betweenness, while this is the other way round for actors striving for betweenness. This shows that in both situations the network formation process implies a social dilemma in which the social optimum is not reached by individual optimizing.

Suggested Citation

  • Buechel, Berno & Buskens, Vincent, 2011. "The dynamics of closeness and betweenness," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 398, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
  • Handle: RePEc:bie:wpaper:398

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Galeotti, Andrea & Goyal, Sanjeev & Kamphorst, Jurjen, 2006. "Network formation with heterogeneous players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 353-372, February.
    2. Gert Sabidussi, 1966. "The centrality index of a graph," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 31(4), pages 581-603, December.
    3. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
    4. Dekker, D.J. & Franses, Ph.H.B.F. & Krackhardt, D., 2001. "An Equilibrium-Correction Model for Dynamic Network Data," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2001-39-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    5. Buechel, Berno, 2011. "Network formation with closeness incentives," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 395, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    6. Sanjeev Goyal & Sumit Joshi, 2006. "Unequal connections," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 34(3), pages 319-349, October.
    7. K. de Jaegher & J.J.A. Kamphorst, 2008. "Network formation with decreasing marginal benefits of information," Working Papers 08-16, Utrecht School of Economics.
    8. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
    9. Goyal, Sanjeev & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2007. "Structural holes in social networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 460-492, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:111:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2320-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Aalbers, Rick & Dolfsma, Wilfred & Koppius, Otto, 2013. "Individual connectedness in innovation networks: On the role of individual motivation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 624-634.


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