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A Theory of Strategic Diffusion

Author

Listed:
  • Sanjeev Goyal

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Andrea Galeotti

    (University of Essex)

Abstract

The important role of friends, neighbors and colleagues in shaping individual choices has been brought out in a number of studies over the years. The presence of significant ‘local’ influence in shaping individual behavior suggests that firms, governments and developmental agencies should explicitly incorporate it in the design of their marketing and developmental strategies. This paper develops a framework for the study of optimal strategies in the presence of social interaction. We focus on the case of a single player who exerts costly effort to get a set of individuals – engaged in social interaction – to choose a certain action. Our formulation allows for different types of social interaction (ranging from sharing of information to direct adoption externalities) and also allows for the player to have incomplete information concerning the connections among individuals. The analysis starts by showing that incorporating information on social interaction can have large effects on the profits of a player. We then show that an increase in the level and dispersion of social interaction can raise or lower the optimal strategy and profits of the player, depending on the content of the interaction. We then study the value of social network information for the player and find that it depends on the dispersion in social connections. The economic interest of these results is illustrated via a discussion of two economic applications: advertising in the presence of word of mouth communication and seeding a network.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanjeev Goyal & Andrea Galeotti, 2007. "A Theory of Strategic Diffusion," Working Papers 2007.70, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2007.70
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Galeotti & Brian W. Rogers, 2013. "Strategic Immunization and Group Structure," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 1-32, May.
    2. Buechel, Berno & Hellmann, Tim & Klößner, Stefan, 2015. "Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 240-257.
    3. Manuel Förster & Michel Grabisch & Agnieszka Rusinowska, 2012. "Ordered Weighted Averaging in Social Networks," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12056, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    4. Prasanna Gai & Sujit Kapadia, 2011. "A Network Model of Super-Systemic Crises," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Rodrigo Alfaro (ed.),Financial Stability, Monetary Policy, and Central Banking, edition 1, volume 15, chapter 13, pages 411-432, Central Bank of Chile.
    5. Hang-Hyun Jo & Jeoung-Yoo Kim, 2012. "Competitive Targeted Marketing," ISER Discussion Paper 0834, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    6. repec:esx:essedp:707 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Fjeldstad, Øystein & Moen, Espen R & Riis, Christian, 2010. "Competition with Local Network Externalities," CEPR Discussion Papers 7778, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Galeotti, Andrea & Goyal, Sanjeev, 2007. "Network Multipliers and the Optimality of Indirect Communication," Economics Discussion Papers 2982, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    9. Jackson, Matthew O. & Golub, Benjamin, 2007. "Naive Learning in Social Networks: Convergence, Influence and Wisdom of Crowds," Coalition Theory Network Working Papers 9101, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    10. Mariya Teteryatnikova, 2010. "Resilience of the Interbank Network to Shocks and Optimal Bail-Out Strategy: Advantages of "Tiered" Banking Systems," Vienna Economics Papers 1007, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    11. Eymann, Torsten (Ed.), 2009. "Tagungsband zum Doctoral Consortium der WI 2009 [WI2009 Doctoral Consortium Proceedings]," Bayreuth Reports on Information Systems Management 40, University of Bayreuth, Chair of Information Systems Management.
    12. Förster, Manuel & Grabisch, Michel & Rusinowska, Agnieszka, 2013. "Anonymous social influence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 621-635.
    13. Chatterjee, Kalyan & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2011. "Credibility and Strategic Learning in Networks," Economic Research Papers 270752, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    14. Francis Bloch & Nicolas Quérou, 2008. "Pricing in networks," Working Papers hal-00356356, HAL.
    15. Itay P. Fainmesser & David A. Goldberg, 2011. "Bilateral and Community Enforcement in a Networked Market with Simple Strategies," Working Papers 2011-2, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    16. repec:esx:essedp:716 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Interaction; Seeding the Network; Word of Mouth Communication; Diffusion Strategy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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