Influence Campaigns

33 Pages Posted: 22 May 2019 Last revised: 6 Mar 2021

See all articles by Evan Sadler

Evan Sadler

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics

Date Written: March 26, 2020

Abstract

Firms and politicians, among others, invest heavily to influence people's opinions. Because peers influence one another, these efforts must account for social networks. Using a model of opinion dynamics with a non-degenerate steady state, I develop a new measure of influence, and I highlight how opinion fluctuations impact influence campaigns. If agents interact less frequently with those holding different opinions, the variance of public opinion decreases. Consequently, a risk-averse planner focuses on persuading a large majority of agents in a small set of tightly knit groups, while a risk-loving planner makes much broader appeals.

Keywords: Networks, Influence Campaigns, Voter Model, Stochastic Block Model

JEL Classification: D85

Suggested Citation

Sadler, Evan, Influence Campaigns (March 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3371835 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3371835

Evan Sadler (Contact Author)

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

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