Dynamics of Networks: If Everyone Strives for Structural Holes

American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 114, pp. 371-407

Posted: 23 Oct 2009

See all articles by Vincent Buskens

Vincent Buskens

Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR); Utrecht University - Department of Sociology/ICS

Arnout van de Rijt

SUNY Stony Brook

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

When entrepreneurs enter structural holes in networks, they can exploit the related benefits. Evidence for these benefits has steadily accumulated. The authors ask whether those who strive for such structural advantages can maintain them if others follow their example. Burt speculates that they cannot, but a formal demonstration of this speculation is lacking. Using a game theoretic model of network formation, the authors characterize the networks that emerge when everyone strives for structural holes. They find that the predominant stable networks distribute benefits evenly, confirming that no one is able to maintain a structural advantage in the long run.

Keywords: network formation, structural holes, game theory

JEL Classification: C72

Suggested Citation

Buskens, Vincent and Buskens, Vincent and van de Rijt, Arnout, Dynamics of Networks: If Everyone Strives for Structural Holes (September 1, 2008). American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 114, pp. 371-407, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1492649

Vincent Buskens (Contact Author)

Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Rotterdam
Netherlands

Utrecht University - Department of Sociology/ICS ( email )

Heidelberglaan 2
Utrecht, 3584 CS
Netherlands

Arnout Van de Rijt

SUNY Stony Brook ( email )

SBS-S423
100 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States
(631)632-7704 (Phone)
(631)632-8203 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mysbfiles.stonybrook.edu/~avanderijt/

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