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Conformism and Self-Selection in Social Networks

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  • Vincent Boucher

Abstract

I present a model of conformism in social networks that incorporates both peer effects and self-selection. I find that equilibrium behaviors are linked through the Laplacian matrix of the equilibrium network. I show that conformism has positive social value and that social welfare can be bounded by network centrality and connectivity measures. I apply the model using empirical data on high school student participation in extracurricular activities. I find that the local effects of conformism (i.e. endogenous peer effect for a fixed network structure) range from 7.5% to 45%, depending on the number of peers that an individual has. Simulations show that the optimal policies of an inequality-averse policy-maker change in relation to the size of a school. Small schools should encourage shy students to integrate more with other students, while large schools should focus on promoting role models within the school.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincent Boucher, 2014. "Conformism and Self-Selection in Social Networks," Cahiers de recherche 1402, Centre de recherche sur les risques, les enjeux économiques, et les politiques publiques.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:crrecr:1402
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fortin, Bernard & Yazbeck, Myra, 2015. "Peer effects, fast food consumption and adolescent weight gain," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 125-138.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:150:y:2018:i:c:p:182-201 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rokhaya Dieye & Bernard Fortin, 2017. "Gender Peer Effects Heterogeneity in Obesity," CIRANO Working Papers 2017s-03, CIRANO.
    4. Lopera, Maria Adelaida & Marchand, Steeve, 2018. "Peer effects and risk-taking among entrepreneurs: Lab-in-the-field evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 182-201.
    5. Lindquist, Matthew & Sauermann, Jan & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Network Effects on Worker Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 10928, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Vincent Boucher & Bernard Fortin, 2015. "Some Challenges in the Empirics of the Effects of Networks," Cahiers de recherche 1504, CIRPEE.
    7. Olcina, Gonzalo & Panebianco, Fabrizio & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "Conformism, Social Norms and the Dynamics of Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12166, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conformism; Peer effects; Network formation;

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • C57 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Econometrics of Games and Auctions

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