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An experimental device to elicit social networks

Author

Listed:
  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

    () (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada)

  • Ramón Cobo-Reyes

    () (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada)

  • Natalia Jiménez

    (Universidad de Granada)

  • Giovanni Ponti

    () (Universidad de Alicante y Ferrara)

Abstract

This paper proposes an original mechanism to elicit latent social networks. Subjects are invited to reveal their friends’ name and surname, together with a score measuring the strength of relationship. According to the mechanism, subjects are rewarded of a fixed price either a) when they do not name anybody or b) when the scores of a randomly selected (bidirectional) link are sufficiently close. We test the mechanism’s performance in the field. Our main results are: i) a very large percentage of links (75%) were corresponded. ii) the mechanism largely captures strong friendship relations and practically ignores weak relations. A simple model of friend—regarding preferences is developed to explain this evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Brañas-Garza & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jiménez & Giovanni Ponti, 2005. "An experimental device to elicit social networks," ThE Papers 05/19, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  • Handle: RePEc:gra:wpaper:05/19
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    File URL: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/wpaper/thepapers05_19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charness, Gary & Corominas-Bosch, Margarida & Frechette, Guillaume R., 2007. "Bargaining and network structure: An experiment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 28-65, September.
    2. Falk Armin & Kosfeld Michael, 2012. "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-36, September.
    3. Keser, Claudia & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Berninghaus, Siegfried K., 1998. "Coordination and local interaction: experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 269-275, March.
    4. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    5. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Keser, Claudia, 2002. "Conventions and Local Interaction Structures: Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 177-205, May.
    6. Cary Deck & Cathleen Johnson, 2004. "Link bidding in laboratory networks," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 8(4), pages 359-372, April.
    7. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    8. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Miguel Angel Durán & María Paz Espinosa, 2005. "Do experimental subjects favor their friends?," ThE Papers 05/14, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    2. Brañas-Garza Pablo & María Paz Espinosa, 2006. "Altruism with Social Roots: An Emerging Literature," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, September.
    3. Pablo Brañas‐Garza & Miguel A. Durán & María Paz Espinosa, 2012. "Favouring Friends," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 172-178, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    friendship; networks; experiments; other—regarding preferences.;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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