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Empirical methods for networks data: social effects, network formation and measurement error

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  • Arun Advani

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Warwick)

  • Bansi Malde

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Kent)

Abstract

In many contexts we may be interested in understanding whether direct connections between agents, such as declared friendships in a classroom or family links in a rural village, affect their outcomes. In this paper we review the literature studying econometric methods for the analysis of social networks. We begin by providing a common framework for models of social effects, a class that includes the `linear-in-means' local average model, the local aggregate model, and models where network statistics affect outcomes. We discuss identification of these models using both observational and experimental/quasi-experimental data. We then discuss models of network formation, drawing on a range of literatures to cover purely predictive models, reduced form models, and structural models, including those with a strategic element. Finally we discuss how one might collect data on networks, and the measurement error issues caused by sampling of networks, as well as measurement error more broadly.

Suggested Citation

  • Arun Advani & Bansi Malde, 2014. "Empirical methods for networks data: social effects, network formation and measurement error," IFS Working Papers W14/34, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:14/34
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    Cited by:

    1. Yann Algan & Quoc-Anh Do & Nicolò Dalvit & Alexis Le Chapelain & Yves Zenou, 2015. "How Social Networks Shape Our Beliefs: A Natural Experiment among Future French Politicians," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/78vacv4udu9, Sciences Po.
    2. Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2016. "Disentangling Social Capital: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence on Coordination, Networks, and Cooperation," Artefactual Field Experiments 00565, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Kostas Mavromaras & Peter Dolton, 2017. "Identifying Social Network Effects," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 93, pages 1-15, June.
    4. Arun Advani & Bansi Malde, 2018. "Credibly Identifying Social Effects: Accounting For Network Formation And Measurement Error," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 1016-1044, September.
    5. Yann Algan & Quoc-Anh Do & Nicolò Dalvit & Alexis Le Chapelain & Yves Zenou, 2015. "How Social Networks Shape Our Beliefs: A Natural Experiment among Future French Politicians," Working Papers hal-03459820, HAL.
    6. Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Key Players," CEPR Discussion Papers 10277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Arun Advani & Bansi Malde, 2018. "Methods to identify linear network models: a review," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 154(1), pages 1-16, December.

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    Keywords

    Networks; Social Eff ects; Peer Eff ects; Econometrics; Endogeneity; Measurement Error; Sampling Design;
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