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Strategic Random Networks

To study how economic fundamentals affect the formation of social networks, a model is needed that (i) has agents responding rationally to incentives (ii) can be taken to the data. This paper combines game-theoretic and statistical approaches to network formation in order to develop such a model. Agents spend costly resources to socialize. Their effort levels determine the probabilities of relationships, which are valuable for their direct benefits and also because they lead to other relationships in a second stage of “meeting friends of friends”. The model predicts random graphs with tunable degree distributions and clustering, and characterizes how those statistics depend on the economic fundamentals. When the value of friends-of-friends is low, equilibrium networks can be either sparse or thick. But as soon as this value crosses a key threshold, the sparse equilibrium disappears completely and only densely connected networks are possible. This transition mitigates an extreme inefficiency.

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File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Golub_Livne_10-21.pdf
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Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 10-21.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1021
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/

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  1. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role Of Information And Social Interactions In Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence From A Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842, August.
  2. Hojman, Daniel A. & Szeidl, Adam, 2008. "Core and periphery in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 295-309, March.
  3. Emmanuel Saez & Esther Duflo, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Mark Granovetter, 2005. "The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 33-50, Winter.
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