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Gossip: Identifying Central Individuals in a Social Network

Author

Listed:
  • Abhijit Banerjee
  • Arun G. Chandrasekhar
  • Esther Duflo
  • Matthew O. Jackson

Abstract

Can we identify the members of a community who are best- placed to diffuse information simply by asking a random sample of individuals? We show that boundedly-rational individuals can, simply by tracking sources of gossip, identify those who are most central in a network according to "diffusion centrality," which nests other standard centrality measures. Testing this prediction with data from 35 Indian villages, we find that respondents accurately nominate those who are diffusion central (not just those with many friends). Moreover, these nominees are more central in the network than traditional village leaders and geographically central individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Abhijit Banerjee & Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Esther Duflo & Matthew O. Jackson, 2014. "Gossip: Identifying Central Individuals in a Social Network," NBER Working Papers 20422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20422
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    Cited by:

    1. Peitz, Martin & Reisinger, Markus, 2014. "The Economics of Internet Media," Working Papers 14-23, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    2. Antonio Jiménez-Martínez, 2015. "A model of belief influence in large social networks," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 59(1), pages 21-59, May.
    3. repec:eee:deveco:v:132:y:2018:i:c:p:32-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:socmed:v:183:y:2017:i:c:p:37-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bonan, Jacopo & Battiston, Pietro & Bleck, Jaimie & LeMay-Boucher, Philippe & Pareglio, Stefano & Sarr, Bassirou & Tavoni, Massimo, 2017. "Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali," MITP: Mitigation, Innovation and Transformation Pathways 263486, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    6. Suchita Srinivasan & Stefano Carattini, 2016. "Adding fuel to fire? Social spillovers and spatial disparities in the adoption of LPG in India," CIES Research Paper series 48-2016, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    7. Michel Grabisch & Antoine Mandel & Agnieszka Rusinowska & Emily Tanimura, 2015. "Strategic influence in social networks," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01158168, HAL.
    8. Matthew O. Jackson, 2014. "Networks in the Understanding of Economic Behaviors," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 3-22, Fall.
    9. Matthew Elliott & Arun Chandrasekhar & Attila Ambrus, 2015. "Social Investments, Informal Risk Sharing, and Inequality," 2015 Meeting Papers 189, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Attila Ambrus & Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Matt Elliott, 2014. "Social Investments, Informal Risk Sharing, and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 20669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Emily Breza & Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Horacio Larreguy, 2014. "Social Structure and Institutional Design: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field," NBER Working Papers 20309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Marcelo Arbex & Ricardo Freguglia & Rafael Siano, 2016. "Network Centrality in Labor Markets and Wage Dynamics," Working Papers 1609, University of Windsor, Department of Economics.
    13. Marco Di Maggio & Francesco Franzoni & Amir Kermani & Carlo Sommavilla, 2017. "The Relevance of Broker Networks for Information Diffusion in the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 23522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Daron Acemoglu & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2015. "Networks, Shocks, and Systemic Risk," NBER Working Papers 20931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. repec:rnp:ecopol:ep1828 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Drago, Francesco & Mengel, Friederike & Traxler, Christian, 2015. "Compliance Behavior in Networks: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9443, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Anna Folke Larsen, 2015. "The network at work: Diffusion of banana cultivation in Tanzania," CAM Working Papers camwp2015_01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
    18. Eraslan, Hulya & Tang, Xun, 2017. "Identification and Estimation of Large Network Games with Private Link Information," Working Papers 17-002, Rice University, Department of Economics.
    19. Shikuku, K.M., 2018. "Information exchange links, knowledge exposure, and adoption of agricultural technologies in Northern Uganda," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 275974, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    20. Emily Breza & Arun G. Chandrasekhar, 2015. "Social Networks, Reputation and Commitment: Evidence from a Savings Monitors Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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