IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Consensus, contagion and clustering in a space-time model of public opinion formation

  • Ianni, Antonella
  • Corradi, Valentina

We study a simple model of public opinion formation that posits that interaction between neighbouring agents leads to bandwagons in the dynamics of individual opinions, as well as in that of the aggregate process. We show that in different specifications of the model, there is a tendency for the process to show consensus on one of the two competing opinions. We show how a publicly available poll of current public opinion may lead to a form of contagion, by which public opinion tends to agree with the poll. We point out that, in the absence of a poll, the process displays the feature that, after long time spans, a sequence of states occur which, when viewed locally, remain almost stationary and are characterized by large clusters of individuals of the same opinion. The running metaphor we use is that of a model of pre-electoral public opinion formation, with two candidates running. We provide some heuristic considerations on the implication that these findings could have in terms of space-time allocation of fundings in an electoral campaign.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton in its series Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics with number 0009.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Apr 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:stn:sotoec:0009
Contact details of provider: Postal: Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ
Phone: (+44) 23 80592537
Fax: (+44) 23 80593858
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Michihiro, Kandori & Rob, Rafael, 1998. "Bandwagon Effects and Long Run Technology Choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 30-60, January.
  2. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
  3. Stephen Morrs, . ""Contagion''," CARESS Working Papres 97-01, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  4. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
  5. Valentina Corradi & Antonella Ianni, . "Ergodicity and Clustering in Opinion Formation," Penn CARESS Working Papers 4e07391e101139fde2f8e70d4, Penn Economics Department.
  6. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  7. Ellison, Glenn, 1993. "Learning, Local Interaction, and Coordination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1047-71, September.
  8. Kandori, M. & Mailath, G.J., 1991. "Learning, Mutation, And Long Run Equilibria In Games," Papers 71, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - John M. Olin Program.
  9. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  10. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1984. "Standardization, Compatibility and Innovation," Working papers 345, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Antonella Ianni, . "Learning Correlated Equilibria in Potential Games," Penn CARESS Working Papers 34ac2118b0340df9732abdd0b, Penn Economics Department.
  12. Stephen Morris, . ""Interaction Games: A Unified Analysis of Incomplete Information, Local Interaction and Random Matching''," CARESS Working Papres 97-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  13. Ellison, Glenn, 2000. "Basins of Attraction, Long-Run Stochastic Stability, and the Speed of Step-by-Step Evolution," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 17-45, January.
  14. Anderlini, Luca & Ianni, Antonella, 1996. "Path Dependence and Learning from Neighbors," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 141-177, April.
  15. Lee, In Ho & Valentinyi, Akos, 2000. "Noisy Contagion without Mutation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 47-56, January.
  16. L. Blume, 2010. "The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 488, David K. Levine.
  17. Eshel, I. & Samuelson, L. & Shaked, A., 1996. "Altruists, Egoists and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model," Working papers 9612r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  18. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  19. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 169-91, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:stn:sotoec:0009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Thorn)

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Chris Thorn to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.