Communication and Coordination in Social Networks

Posted: 1 Jan 2001


I model people in a coordination game who use a communication network to tell each other their willingness to participate. The minimal sufficient networks for coordination can be interpreted as placing people into ahierarchy of social roles or "stages": "initial adopters", then "followers", and so on down to "late adopters". A communication network helps coordination in exactly two ways: by informing each stage about earlier stages, and by creating common knowledge within each stage. We then consider two examples: first we show that "low dimensional" networks can be better for coordination even though they have far fewer links than "high dimensional" networks; second we show that wide dispersion of "insurgents", people predisposed toward participation, can be good for coordination but too much dispersion can be bad.

JEL Classification: C70, D80

Suggested Citation

Suk-Young Chwe, Michael, Communication and Coordination in Social Networks. The Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2000. Available at SSRN:

Michael Suk-Young Chwe (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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