Network formation and social coordination

S. Goyal, F. Vega-Redondo
Games and economic behavior 50, 178, 2005.

This paper develops a simple model to examine the interaction between partner choice and individual behavior in games of coordination. An important ingredient of our approach is the way we model partner choice: we suppose that a player can establish ties with other players by unilaterally investing in costly pairwise links. In this context, individual efforts to balance the costs and benefits of links are shown to lead to a unique equilibrium interaction architecture. The dynamics of network formation, however, has powerful effects on individual behavior: if costs of forming links are below a certain threshold then players coordinate on the risk-dominant action, while if costs are above this threshold then they coordinate on the efficient action. These findings are robust to modifications in the link formation process, different specifications of link formation costs, alternative models of mutations as well as the possibility of interaction among indirectly connected players.

Copyright © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

This paper in games and economic behavior

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