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The Formation of Collaboration Networks Among Individuals with Heterogeneous Skills


  • Katharine Anderson


Collaboration networks provide a method for examining the highly heterogeneous structure of collaborative communities. However, existing models of network formation do not provide a connection between observed network heterogeneity and characteristics of the individuals or communities. The model presented in this paper connects an individual’s skill set to her position in the collaboration network, and changes in the distribution of skills to the structure of the collaboration network as a whole. This model suggests that individuals with a useful combination of skills will have a disproportionate number of links in the network, resulting in a skewed degree distribution, much like that observed empirically. The degree distribution becomes more skewed as problems become more difficult, leading to a community dominated by a few high-degree superstars.

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  • Katharine Anderson, 2013. "The Formation of Collaboration Networks Among Individuals with Heterogeneous Skills," GSIA Working Papers 2011-E41, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:938084531

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Page Jr., Frank H. & Wooders, Myrna, 2007. "Networks and clubs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 406-425.
    3. Arnold, Tone & Wooders, Myrna, 2002. "Dynamic Club Formation With Coordination," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 640, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Gabrielle Demange & Wooders Myrna, 2005. "Group Formation in Economics: Networks, Clubs and Coalitions," Post-Print halshs-00576778, HAL.
    5. 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).
    6. Hart, Sergiu & Kurz, Mordecai, 1983. "Endogenous Formation of Coalitions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1047-1064, July.
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    1. Katharine A. Anderson, "undated". "Skill Specialization and the Formation of Collaboration Networks," GSIA Working Papers 2012-E50, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.

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