Eliciting Social Networks: An Experimental Approach
Posted: 6 Sep 2009
Date Written: March 1, 2009
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: Suggested Citation