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The economics of social networks

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  • Jackson, Matthew O.

Abstract

The science of social networks is a central field of sociological study, a major application of random graph theory, and an emerging area of study by economists, statistical physicists and computer scientists. While these literatures are (slowly) becoming aware of each other, and on occasion drawing from one another, they are still largely distinct in their methods, interests, and goals. Here, my aim is to provide some perspective on the research from these literatures, with a focus on the formal modeling of social networks and the two major types of models: those based on random graphs and those based on game theoretic reasoning. I highlight some of the strengths, weaknesses, and potential synergies between these two network modeling approaches.

Suggested Citation

  • Jackson, Matthew O., 2005. "The economics of social networks," Working Papers 1237, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1237
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    File URL: http://www.hss.caltech.edu/SSPapers/sswp1237c.pdf
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    Keywords

    networks; social networks; network games; network formation; game theory;
    All these keywords.

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