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Behavioural patterns in social networks

  • Anna Contea

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

  • Daniela T. Di Cagno

    (LUISS University, Rome)

  • Emanuela Sciubbad

    (Birkbeck College, University of London)

In this paper, we focus on the analysis of individual decision making for the formation of social networks, using experimentally generated data. We first analyse the determinants of the individual demand for links under the assumption of agents' static expectations. The results of this exercise subsequently allow us to identify patterns of behaviour that can be subsumed in three strategies of link formation: 1) reciprocator strategy - players propose links to those from whom they have received link proposals in the previous round; 2) myopic best response strategy - players aim to profit from maximisation; 3) opportunistic strategy - players reciprocate link proposals to those who have the largest number of connections. We find that these strategies explain approximately 76% of the observed choices. We finally estimate a mixture model to highlight the proportion of the population who adopt each of these strategies.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2011-060.

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Date of creation: 20 Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2011-060
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  1. Anna Conte & Peter G. Moffatt, 2010. "The econometric modeling of social Preferences," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-042, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  2. Falk, Armin & Kosfeld, Michael, 2003. "It's All About Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent, 2009. "Farsightedly stable networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 526-541, November.
  4. Anna Conte & M. Vittoria Levati, 2011. "Use of data on planned contributions and stated beliefs in the measurement of social preferences," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-039, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  5. Dutta, Bhaskar & Ghosal, Sayantan & Ray, Debraj, 2005. "Farsighted network formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 143-164, June.
  6. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2006. "Calculation of multivariate normal probabilities by simulation, with applications to maximum simulated likelihood estimation," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(2), pages 156-189, June.
  7. Berninghaus, Siegfried & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Ott, Marion, 2008. "Myopically forward-looking agents in a network formation game : theory and experimental evidence," Papers 08-02, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
  8. Sanjeev Goyal & Sumit Joshi, 2006. "Unequal connections," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 34(3), pages 319-349, October.
  9. Goeree, Jacob K. & Riedl, Arno & Ule, Aljaz, 2009. "In search of stars: Network formation among heterogeneous agents," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 445-466, November.
  10. Callander, Steven & Plott, Charles R., 2005. "Principles of network development and evolution: an experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1469-1495, August.
  11. Matteo Galizzi & Michele Bernasconi, 2005. "Coordination in Networks Formation: Experimental Evidence on Learning and Salience," Working Papers 2005.107, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
  13. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Ott, Marion, 2008. "Myopically Forward-Looking Agents in a Network Formation Game: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-02, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  14. 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, 04.
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