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Small World Networks with Segregation Patterns and Brokers

Edoardo Gallo

University of Oxford - Nuffield College

August 4, 2009

FEEM Working Paper No. 34.2009

Many social networks have the following properties: (i) a short average distance between any two individuals; (ii) a high clustering coefficient; (iii) segregation patterns; the presence of (iv) brokers and (v) hubs. (i) and (ii) define a small world network. This paper develops a strategic network formation model where agents have heterogeneous knowledge of the network: cognizant agents know the whole network, while ignorant ones are less knowledgeable. For a broad range of parameters, all pairwise Nash (PN) networks have properties (i)-(iv). There are some PN networks with one hub. Cognizant agents have higher betweenness centrality: they are the brokers who connect different parts of the network. Ignorant agents cause the emergence of segregation patterns. The results are robust to varying the number of cognizant agents and to increasing the knowledge level of ignorant ones. An application shows the relevance of the results to assessing the welfare impact of an increase in network knowledge due to, e.g., improved access to social networking tools.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 49

Keywords: Network, Cognitive Network, Small World, Broker, Segregation

JEL Classification: C72, D85

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Date posted: August 5, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Gallo, Edoardo, Small World Networks with Segregation Patterns and Brokers (August 4, 2009). FEEM Working Paper No. 34.2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1443782 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1443782

Contact Information

Edoardo Gallo (Contact Author)
University of Oxford - Nuffield College ( email )
New Road
Oxford, OX1 1NF
United Kingdom
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