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Network formation with heterogeneous agents and absolute friction



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We present a model of endogenous network formation with absolute friction and heterogeneous agents. The individual payoffs from a given network are determined by the difference of an agent specific utility function that depends on the number of his/her direct links and the sum of his/her link-costs. These link-costs decompose in a symmetric function that represents the social and geographical distance between the two agents and an agent specific function representing the partner’s wealth and status. From a theoretical point of view, we define a new stability concept that is situated between the notions of pairwise stability (see Jackson and Wolinsky (1996)) and strong stability (see Dutta and Mutuswami (1997)). We show that our model has a unique stable network and we demonstrate that it is also strongly stable. As such, we provide uniqueness and existence for a whole range of stability concepts situated between our new stability concept and strong stability. From a practical point of view, we provide an algorithm that reproduces this stable network from information on the individual payoff structure. We illustrate the use of this algorithm by applying it to an informal insurance data set from the village of Nyakatoke in rural Tanzania.

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Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 10/642.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:10/642
Contact details of provider: Postal: Hoveniersberg 4, B-9000 Gent
Phone: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 34 61
Fax: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 35 92
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  1. Olivier Tercieux & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2006. "A characterization of stochastically stable networks," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 351-369, October.
  2. Jackson, Matthew O. & van den Nouweland, Anne, 2002. "Strongly Stable Networks," Working Papers 1147, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Stef Tijs & Anne van den Nouweland & Bhaskar Dutta, 1998. "Link formation in cooperative situations," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 245-256.
  4. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "original papers : A strategic analysis of network reliability," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 205-228.
  5. Dutta, Bhaskar & Mutuswami, Suresh, 1997. "Stable Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 322-344, October.
    • Dutta, Bhaskar & Mutuswami, Suresh, 1996. "Stable Networks," Working Papers 971, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  8. Hojman, Daniel A. & Szeidl, Adam, 2008. "Core and periphery in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 295-309, March.
  9. Watts, Alison, 2001. "A Dynamic Model of Network Formation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 331-341, February.
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  11. Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, 2000. "Risk-Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Economics Series Working Papers 10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. HERINGS, Jean-Jacques & MAULEON, Ana & VANNETELBOSCH, Vincent, 2006. "Farsightedly stable networks," CORE Discussion Papers 2006092, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Frank H. Page & Myrna H. Wooders, 2009. "Endogenous Network Dynamics," Working Papers 2009.28, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  14. Frank Page & Myrna Wooders, 2007. "Strategic Basins of Attraction, the Path Dominance Core, and Network Formation Games," Caepr Working Papers 2007-020, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  15. COMOLA Margherita, 2007. "The network structure of informal arrangements : evidence from rural Tanzania," Research Unit Working Papers 0708, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  16. Watts, Alison, 2002. "Non-myopic formation of circle networks," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 277-282, January.
  17. Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1994. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  18. Nicolas Carayol & Pascale Roux, 2006. "A strategic model of complex networks formation," Working Papers of BETA 2006-02, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  19. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers, 2005. "The Economics of Small Worlds," Game Theory and Information 0503004, EconWPA.
  20. Page, Frank Jr. & Wooders, Myrna H. & Kamat, Samir, 2005. "Networks and farsighted stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 257-269, February.
  21. Paul Belleflamme & Francis Bloch, 2004. "Market sharing agreements and collusive networks," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 387-411, 05.
  22. Comola, Margherita & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2009. "Testing Unilateral and Bilateral Link Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Sanjeev Goyal & Sumit Joshi, 2006. "Unequal connections," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 319-349, October.
  24. Deroian, Frederic, 2003. "Farsighted strategies in the formation of a communication network," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 343-349, September.
  25. Slikker, Marco & van den Nouweland, Anne, 2001. "A One-Stage Model of Link Formation and Payoff Division," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 153-175, January.
  26. Bala, V. & Goyal, S., 1997. "Self-Organization in Communication Networks," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 9713-/A, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  27. Bloch, Francis & Jackson, Matthew, 2004. "The Formation of Networks with Transfers among Players," Working Papers 1194, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  28. De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2006. "Risk-sharing networks and insurance against illness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 337-356, December.
  29. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni, 2004. "Job contact networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 191-206, March.
  30. Galeotti, Andrea & Goyal, Sanjeev & Kamphorst, Jurjen, 2006. "Network formation with heterogeneous players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 353-372, February.
  31. Feri, Francesco, 2007. "Stochastic stability in networks with decay," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 442-457, July.
  32. Dutta, Bhaskar & Ghosal, Sayantan & Ray, Debraj, 2005. "Farsighted network formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 143-164, June.
  33. Jackson, Matthew O., 1998. "The Evolution of Social and Economic Networks," Working Papers 1044, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  34. Marcel Fafchamps & Flore Gubert, 2005. "The Formation of Risk Sharing Networks," Working Papers DT/2005/13, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  35. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
  36. Robert P. Gilles & Cathleen Johnson, 2000. "original papers : Spatial social networks," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 273-299.
  37. Haller, Hans & Sarangi, Sudipta, 2005. "Nash networks with heterogeneous links," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 181-201, September.
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