ssrn-id1522689

ssrn-id1522689 - SERIES PAPER DISCUSSION IZA DP No. 4621...

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DISCUSSION PAPER SERIES Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit Institute for the Study of Labor Social Networks IZA DP No. 4621 December 2009 Joan de Martí Yves Zenou
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Social Networks Joan de Martí Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE Yves Zenou Stockholm University, IFN and IZA Discussion Paper No. 4621 December 2009 IZA P.O. Box 7240 53072 Bonn Germany Phone: +49-228-3894-0 Fax: +49-228-3894-180 E-mail: iza@iza.org Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and not those of IZA. Research published in this series may include views on policy, but the institute itself takes no institutional policy positions. The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn is a local and virtual international research center and a place of communication between science, politics and business. IZA is an independent nonprofit organization supported by Deutsche Post Foundation. The center is associated with the University of Bonn and offers a stimulating research environment through its international network, workshops and conferences, data service, project support, research visits and doctoral program. IZA engages in (i) original and internationally competitive research in all fields of labor economics, (ii) development of policy concepts, and (iii) dissemination of research results and concepts to the interested public. IZA Discussion Papers often represent preliminary work and are circulated to encourage discussion. Citation of such a paper should account for its provisional character. A revised version may be available directly from the author.
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IZA Discussion Paper No. 4621 December 2009 ABSTRACT Social Networks We survey the literature on social networks by putting together the economics, sociological and physics/applied mathematics approaches, showing their similarities and differences. We expose, in particular, the two main ways of modeling network formation. While the physics/applied mathematics approach is capable of reproducing most observed networks, it does not explain why they emerge. On the contrary, the economics approach is very precise in explaining why networks emerge but does a poor job in matching real-world networks. We also analyze behaviors on networks, which take networks as given and focus on the impact of their structure on individuals’ outcomes. Using a game-theoretical framework, we then compare the results with those obtained in sociology. JEL Classification: A14, C72, D85, Z13 Keywords: random graph, game theory, centrality measures, network formation, weak and strong ties Corresponding author: Yves Zenou Stockholm University Department of Economics 106 91 Stockholm Sweden E-mail: yves.zenou@ne.su.se
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2 1 Introduction A large body of research, first in sociology, then in physics, and more recently in economics, has studied the importance of social networks in different activities. Social networks are indeed important in several facets of our lives. For example, the decision of an agent to whether buy or not a new product, attend a meeting, commit a crime, find
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ssrn-id1522689 - SERIES PAPER DISCUSSION IZA DP No. 4621...

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