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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
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  1. Hojman, Daniel A. & Szeidl, Adam, 2008. "Core and periphery in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 295-309, March.
  2. Sanjeev Goyal & Sumit Joshi, 2006. "Unequal connections," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 34(3), pages 319-349, October.
  3. Galeotti, Andrea & Goyal, Sanjeev & Kamphorst, Jurjen, 2006. "Network formation with heterogeneous players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 353-372, February.
  4. Matthew O. Jackson, 2003. "Allocation Rules for Network Games," Game Theory and Information 0303010, EconWPA.
  5. Watts, Alison, 2001. "A Dynamic Model of Network Formation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 331-341, February.
  6. Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, 2000. "Risk-Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Economics Series Working Papers 10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Page Jr., Frank H. & Wooders, Myrna, 2009. "Strategic basins of attraction, the path dominance core, and network formation games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 462-487, May.
  9. Marcel Fafchamps & Flore Gubert, 2005. "The Formation of Risk Sharing Networks," Working Papers DT/2005/13, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  10. Marcel Fafchamps & Margherita Comola, 2009. "Testing Unilateral and Bilateral Link Formation," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2009-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Vincent Vannetelbosch & Olivier Tercieux, 2005. "A Characterization of Stochastically Stable Networks," Working Papers 2005.48, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. 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.
  13. Stefan Dercon & Joachim de Weerdt, 2004. "Risk-Sharing Networks And Insurance Against Illness," Development and Comp Systems 0409019, EconWPA.
  14. 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.
  15. Dutta, B. & van den Nouweland, C.G.A.M. & Tijs, S.H., 1998. "Link formation in cooperative situations," Other publications TiSEM fb302bdf-f6ab-4909-99d5-5, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  16. Matthew O. Jackson, 2001. "Strongly Stable Networks," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2001-3, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 15 Nov 2002.
  17. Haller, Hans & Sarangi, Sudipta, 2005. "Nash networks with heterogeneous links," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 181-201, September.
  18. Feri, Francesco, 2007. "Stochastic stability in networks with decay," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 442-457, July.
  19. Paul Belleflamme & Francis Bloch, 2001. "Market Sharing Agreements and Collusive Networks," Working Papers 443, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  20. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "original papers : A strategic analysis of network reliability," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 5(3), pages 205-228.
  21. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers, 2005. "The Economics of Small Worlds," Game Theory and Information 0503004, EconWPA.
  22. 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.
  23. Frank H. Page & Myrna H. Wooders, 2009. "Endogenous Network Dynamics," Working Papers 2009.28, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  24. Robert P. Gilles & Cathleen Johnson, 2000. "original papers : Spatial social networks," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 5(3), pages 273-299.
  25. 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).
  26. Bloch, Francis & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "The formation of networks with transfers among players," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 83-110, March.
  27. COMOLA Margherita, 2007. "The network structure of informal arrangements : evidence from rural Tanzania," Research Unit Working Papers 0708, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  28. Watts, Alison, 2002. "Non-myopic formation of circle networks," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 277-282, January.
  29. Bhaskar Dutta & Sayantan Ghosal & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Farsighted Network Formation," Working papers 122, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
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  31. Jan K. Brueckner, 2006. "Friendship Networks," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(5), pages 847-865.
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  33. 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.
  34. Jackson, Matthew O. & Watts, Alison, 2002. "The Evolution of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 265-295, October.
  35. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
  36. De Weerdt, Joachim, 2002. "Risk-Sharing and Endogenous Network Formation," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  37. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni, 2004. "Job contact networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 191-206, March.
  38. Deroian, Frederic, 2003. "Farsighted strategies in the formation of a communication network," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 343-349, September.
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