Eliciting Social Networks: An Experimental Approach

Posted: 6 Sep 2009

See all articles by Pablo Brañas-Garza

Pablo Brañas-Garza

Universidad Loyola Andalucia

Ramon Cobo-Reyes

University of Granada - Campus de Fuentenueva

Natalia Jimenez

University of Granada - Campus de Fuentenueva

Giovanni Ponti

Universidad de Alicante - Department of Economic Analysis; University of Ferrara; University College London - ESRC Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution (ELSE)

Date Written: March 1, 2009

Abstract

This work presents the design of a mechanism to elicit latent social networks.

Subjects are invited to reveal their friends’ names, together with a “strength” (from acquaintance to friend) measuring the valuation of the relationship.

According to the mechanism, subjects are rewarded with a fixed price either a) if the strengths of a randomly selected mutual link are sufficiently close or b) if they do not nominate anybody (our “exit-option” close).

Our main results are that i) a very large percentage of links (72%) are reciprocated (99% of those with the required accuracy); ii) the mechanism largely captures strong friendship relations and practically ignores weak relations and iii) the accuracy of the elicitation mechanism is robust to the different reward means.

Keywords: Friendship, networks, experiments, psychological games

JEL Classification: C93, D85, Z13

Suggested Citation

Brañas-Garza, Pablo and Cobo-Reyes, Ramon and Jimenez, Natalia and Ponti, Giovanni, Eliciting Social Networks: An Experimental Approach (March 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1467524

Pablo Brañas-Garza

Universidad Loyola Andalucia ( email )

c/ Escritor Castilla Aguayo
Córdoba, 14004
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/pablobranasgarza/home

Ramon Cobo-Reyes

University of Granada - Campus de Fuentenueva ( email )

Granada
Spain

Natalia Jimenez

University of Granada - Campus de Fuentenueva ( email )

Granada
Spain

Giovanni Ponti (Contact Author)

Universidad de Alicante - Department of Economic Analysis ( email )

03080 Alicante
Spain
+34 96 590 3619 (Phone)
+34 96 590 3898 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://merlin.fae.ua.es/giuba/

University of Ferrara ( email )

Via del Gregorio 13
Ferrara, 44100
Italy

University College London - ESRC Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution (ELSE)

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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