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The Emergence of Local Norms in Networks

  • Mary Burke
  • Gary Fournier

We develop an explanation of the emergence of local norms, and the associated phenom- enon of geographical variation in behavior. Individuals are assumed to interact locally with neighbors in an environment with a network externality. Although many patterns of behavior are possible, the dispersed interactive choices of agents are shown to select behavior that is locally uniform but globally diverse. The range of applications of the theory includes regional variation in the practice of medicine, technology choice, and corruption. The framework is also useful for further developing our understanding of important phenomena like lock-in, critical thresholds, and contagion

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 with number 299.

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Date of creation: 11 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf5:299
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  1. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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  8. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Harris SELOD & Yves ZENOU, 2001. "Social Interactions, Ethnic Minorities and Urban Unemployment," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 63-64, pages 183-214.
  10. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  11. Epstein, Joshua M, 2001. "Learning to Be Thoughtless: Social Norms and Individual Computation," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 18(1), pages 9-24, August.
  12. Kandori, M. & Mailath, G.J., 1991. "Learning, Mutation, And Long Run Equilibria In Games," Papers 71, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - John M. Olin Program.
  13. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
  14. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  15. Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher S. Ruebeck, 2003. "The Economics of Identity and the Endogeneity of Race," NBER Working Papers 9962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. H. Peyton Young & Mary A. Burke, 2001. "Competition and Custom in Economic Contracts: A Case Study of Illinois Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 559-573, June.
  17. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
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