Group Formation with a Network Constraint
Group formation is important in many economic contexts. The current literature on group formation assumes that individuals may join any existing group. In this paper, I consider the implications of social, geographic, and informational constraints to group membership decisions. I embed the players in a network of relationships, which constrains their choice of groups–they may only join a group if that group contains a member that they are connected to on the network. I then examine how this network constraint affects the equilibrium group structure. I show that even with complete information, unconstrained individuals form groups that are inefficiently large. When individuals are constrained, the resulting group structures are much closer to the socially optimal group structure, because the constraint limits the ability of the individual to free ride on the efforts of other group members. The efficiency of the outcome is related to the structure of the network constraint–outcomes are more efficient when networks are sparse and have few random connections.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Hart, Sergiu & Kurz, Mordecai, 1983. "Endogenous Formation of Coalitions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1047-1064, July.
- Inés Macho-Stadler & David Pérez-Castrillo & Nicolás Porteiro, 2003.
"Sequential Formation of Coalitions through Bilateral Agreements,"
84, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Inés Macho-Stadler & David Pérez-Castrillo & Nicol? Porteiro, 2002. "Sequential Formation of Coalitions through Bilateral Agreements," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 515.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Heintzelman, Martin & Salant, Stephen W. & Schott, Stephan, 2008.
"Putting Free-Riding to Work: A Partnership Solution to the Common-Property Problem,"
9804, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Heintzelman, Martin D. & Salant, Stephen W. & Schott, Stephan, 2009. "Putting free-riding to work: A Partnership Solution to the common-property problem," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 309-320, May.
- Gabrielle Demange & Wooders Myrna, 2005. "Group Formation in Economics: Networks, Clubs and Coalitions," Post-Print halshs-00576778, HAL.
- Page Jr., Frank H. & Wooders, Myrna, 2007. "Networks and clubs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 406-425.
- Arnold, Tone & Wooders, Myrna, 2002.
"Dynamic Club Formation With Coordination,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
640, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Tone Arnold & Myrna Wooders, 2005. "Dynamic Club Formation with Coordination," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0522, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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