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Matching and network effects

Author

Listed:
  • Marcel Fafchamps

    () (University of Oxford)

  • Marco van der Leij

    () (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Sanjeev Goyal

    (Department of Economics, Queen Mary)

Abstract

The matching of individuals in teams is a key element in the functioning of an economy. The network of social ties can potentially transmit important information on abilities and reputations and also help mitigate matching frictions by facilitating interactions among ¿screened¿ individuals. We conjecture that the probability of i and j forming a team is falling in the distance between i and j in the network of existing social ties. The objective of this paper is to empirically test this conjecture. We examine the formation of coauthor relations among economists over a twenty year period. Our principal finding is that a new collaboration emerges faster among two researchers if they are ¿closer" in the existing coauthor network among economists. This proximity effect on collaboration is strong: being at a network distance of 2 instead of 3, for instance, raises the probability of initiating a collaboration by 27 percent. Research collaboration takes place in an environment where fairly detailed information concerning individual ability and productivity -reflected in publications, employment history, etc.- is publicly available. Our finding that social networks are powerful even in this setting suggests that they must affect matching processes more generally.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Fafchamps & Marco van der Leij & Sanjeev Goyal, 2009. "Matching and network effects," Working Papers. Serie AD 2009-15, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2009-15
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ivie.es/downloads/docs/wpasad/wpasad-2009-15.pdf
    File Function: Fisrt version / Primera version, 2009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, January.
    2. De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2006. "Risk-sharing networks and insurance against illness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 337-356, December.
    3. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-1418, December.
    4. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
    5. Simon Johnson & John McMillan, 2002. "Courts and Relational Contracts," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 221-277, April.
    6. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    7. Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 830-851, September.
    8. Marcel Fafchamps, 2002. "Returns to social network capital among traders," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 173-206, April.
    9. Fafchamps, Marcel & Lund, Susan, 2003. "Risk-sharing networks in rural Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-287, August.
    10. De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2006. "Risk-sharing networks and insurance against illness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 337-356, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    coauthorship network; matching; network effects; network formation.;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

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