Reciprocated Versus Unreciprocated Sharing in Social Networks

28 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2010 Last revised: 10 Jul 2011

See all articles by Laura Schechter

Laura Schechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics; University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics

Alex Yuskavage

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA)

Date Written: July 9, 2011

Abstract

We recognize that some sharing relationships in social networks are reciprocated (undirected), while others are unreciprocated (directed). We find that in unreciprocated relationships transfers are likely to flow from more to less wealthy households, while reciprocated risk-sharing relationships are more likely between wealthier households. We are also one of the first papers to empirically explore predictions from the theoretical network literature. This literature finds that networks of undirected two-way transfers should exhibit high levels of support while networks with one-way flows of benefits should exhibit star-like characteristics. These two predictions hold for the reciprocated and unreciprocated networks respectively.

Keywords: Social Networks, Risk Sharing, Network Architecture, Support, Betweenness

JEL Classification: D63, D64, O10, O17

Suggested Citation

Schechter, Laura and Yuskavage, Alex, Reciprocated Versus Unreciprocated Sharing in Social Networks (July 9, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1591139 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1591139

Laura Schechter (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

427 Lorch St.
Madison, WI 53706-1503
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics ( email )

William H. Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

Alex Yuskavage

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA) ( email )

1500 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20220
United States

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