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Measuring Power and Satisfaction in Societies with Opinion Leaders: Dictator and Opinion Leader Properties

  • René Van den Brink

    (Department of Econometrics - Timbergen Institute - VU University)

  • Agnieszka Rusinowska

    ()

    (Axe Economie mathématique et jeux - CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS)

  • Frank Steffen

    (University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS) - University of Liverpool Management School)

A well known and established model in communication policy in sociology and marketing is that of opinion leadership. Opinion leaders are actors in a society who are able to affect the behavior of other members of the society called followers. Hence, opinion leaders might have a considerable impact on the behavior of markets and other social agglomerations being made up of individual actors choosing among a number of alternatives. For marketing or policy purposes it appears to be interesting to investigate the effect of different opinion leader-follower structures in markets or any other collective decision-making situations in a society. We study a two-action model in which the members of a society are to choose one action, for instance, to buy or not to buy a certain joint product, or to vote yes or no on a specific proposal. Each of the actors has an inclination to choose one of the actions. By definition opinion leaders have some power over their followers, and they exercise this power by influencing the behavior of their followers, i.e. their choice of action. After all actors have chosen their actions, a decision-making mechanism determines the collective choice resulting out of the individual choices. Making use of bipartite digraphs we introduce novel satisfaction and power scores which allow us to analyze the actors' satisfaction and power with respect to the collective choice for societies with different opinion leader-follower structures. Moreover, we study common dictator and opinion leader properties of the above scores and illustrate our findings for a society with five members.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number hal-00633881.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-00633881
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