An Agent-Based Model of Centralized Institutions, Social Network Technology, and Revolution
Recent uprisings in the Arab world consist of individuals revealing vastly different preferences than were expressed prior to the uprisings. This paper sheds light on the general mechanisms underlying large-scale social and institutional change. We employ an agent-based model to test the impact of authority centralization and social network technology on preference revelation and falsification, social protest, and institutional change. We find that the amount of social and institutional change is decreasing with authority centralization in simulations with low network range but is increasing with authority centralization in simulations with greater network range. The relationship between institutional change and social shocks is not linear, but rather is characterized by sharp discontinuities. The threshold at which a shock can ï¿½tipï¿½ a system towards institutional change is decreasing with the geographic reach of citizen social networks. Farther reaching social networks reduce the robustness and resilience of central authorities to change. This helps explain why highly centralized regimes frequently attempt to restrict information flows via the media and Internet. More generally, our results highlight the role that information and communication technology can play in triggering cascades of preference revelation and revolutionary activity in varying institutional regimes.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2011|
|Date of revision:||Oct 2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Towson, Maryland 21252-0001|
Web page: http://www.towson.edu/cbe/departments/economics/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010.
"A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1193, David K. Levine.
- Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
- Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
- Wright, Gavin, 1999. "The Civil Rights Revolution as Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 267-289, June.
- Kuran, Timur, 1991. "The East European Revolution of 1989: Is It Surprising That We Were Surprised?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 121-25, May.
- Rubin, Jared, 2014.
"Centralized institutions and cascades,"
Journal of Comparative Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 340-357.
- In Ho Lee & Akos Valentinyi, 2000. "Noisy Contagion Without Mutation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 47-56.
- Christopher J. Ellis & John Fender, 2011. "Information Cascades and Revolutionary Regime Transitions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 763-792, 06.
- Cowan, Robin & Jonard, Nicolas, 2004.
"Network structure and the diffusion of knowledge,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1557-1575, June.
- Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
- Kuran, Timur, 1987. "Preference Falsification, Policy Continuity and Collective Conservatism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 642-65, September.
- Joshua M. Epstein & Robert L. Axtell, 1996. "Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550253, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2011-05. 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: (Juergen Jung)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.