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A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks

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  • Matthew O. Jackson
  • Asher Wolinsky

Abstract

We study the stability and efficiency of social and economic networks, when self-interested individuals have the discretion to form or sever links. First, in the context of two stylized models, we characterize the sets of stable networkds (immune to incentives to form or sever links) and the sets of efficient networks (those which maximize total production or utility). The sets of stable networks and efficients networks do not always intersect. Next, we show that this tension is not unique to these models, but persists generally. In order to assure that there is always at least one efficient graph which is stable, one is forced to allocate resources to nodes (players) who are not responsible for any of the production. We characterize another rule which fails to assure that efficient graphs are stable, but arises naturally if the allocations result from the bargaining of players.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1995. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1098r
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    1. Ken Hendricks & Michele Piccione & Guofu Tan, 1995. "The Economics of Hubs: The Case of Monopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 83-99.
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    3. Stef Tijs & Anne van den Nouweland & Bhaskar Dutta, 1998. "Link formation in cooperative situations," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(2), pages 245-256.
    4. Kirman, Alan P & Oddou, Claude & Weber, Shlomo, 1986. "Stochastic Communication and Coalition Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 129-138, January.
    5. Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992. "Two-sided matching," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541 Elsevier.
    6. van den Nouweland, Anne & Borm, Peter, 1991. "On the Convexity of Communication Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 19(4), pages 421-430.
    7. Grout, Paul A, 1984. "Investment and Wages in the Absence of Binding Contracts: A Nash Bargining Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 449-460, March.
    8. Lars Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1993. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice with Nonbinding Contracts," Game Theory and Information 9310001, EconWPA, revised 13 Oct 1993.
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