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Influential Opinion Leaders

  • Jakub Steiner
  • Colin Stewart

We present a two-stage coordination game in which early choices of experts with special interests are observed by followers who move in the second stage. We show that the equilibrium outcome is biased toward the experts' interests even though followers know the distribution of expert interests and account for it when evaluating observed experts' actions. Expert influence is fully decentralized in the sense that each individual expert has a negligible impact. The bias in favor of experts results from a social learning effect that is multiplied through a coordination motive. We show that the total effect can be large even if the direct social learning effect is small. We apply our results to the diffusion of products with network externalities and the onset of social movements.

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp458.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp458
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  1. Duncan J. Watts & Peter Sheridan Dodds, 2007. "Influentials, Networks, and Public Opinion Formation," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 441-458, 05.
  2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Amil Dasgupta & Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Does One Soros Make a Difference? A Theory of Currency Crises with Large and Small Traders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 87-113.
  3. Chris Edmond, 2013. "Information Manipulation, Coordination, and Regime Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1422-1458.
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  10. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Dynamic Global Games of Regime Change: Learning, Multiplicity and Timing of Attacks," Discussion Papers 1497, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  13. Callander, Steven, 2008. "Majority rule when voters like to win," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 393-420, November.
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  18. Dasgupta, Amil, 2007. "Coordination and delay in global games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 195-225, May.
  19. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Dynamic Global Games of Regime Change: Learning, Multiplicity, and the Timing of Attacks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 711-756, 05.
  20. David P. Myatt, 2004. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting," Economics Series Working Papers 186, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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