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Conflict and segregation in networks: An experiment on the interplay between individual preferences and social influence

Author

Listed:
  • Lea Ellwardt

    () (University of Groningen)

  • Penélope Hernández

    () (ERI-CES)

  • Guillem Martínez-Canovas

    () (ERI-CES)

  • Manuel Muñoz-Herrera

    () (University of Groningen)

Abstract

We examine the interplay between a person's individual preference and the social influence others exert. We provide a model of network relationships with conflicting preferences, where individuals are better off coordinating with those around them, but not all prefer the same action. We test our model in an experiment, varying the level of conflicting preferences between individuals. Our findings suggest that preferences are more salient than social influence, under conflicting preferences: subjects relate mainly with others who prefer the same. This leads to two undesirable outcomes: network segregation and social inefficiency. The same force that helps people individually hurts society.

Suggested Citation

  • Lea Ellwardt & Penélope Hernández & Guillem Martínez-Canovas & Manuel Muñoz-Herrera, 2014. "Conflict and segregation in networks: An experiment on the interplay between individual preferences and social influence," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0114, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.
  • Handle: RePEc:dbe:wpaper:0114
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    File URL: https://www.uv.es/erices/RePEc/WP/2014/0114.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heterogeneity; Social Networks; Formation; Equilibrium selection;

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

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