The Role of Trust in Costly Network Formation
CentER Discussion Paper No. 2003-53
36 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2004
Date Written: 2003
We consider game theoretic models of social network formation. In this paper, we limit our investigation to game theoretic models of network formation that are based on individual actions only. Our approach is based on three simple and realistic principles: (1) Link formation is a binary process of consent. (2) Link formation is costly. (3) The class of network payo functions should be as general as possible. We provide characterizations of stable networks under the hypothesis of mutual consent in the cases of two-sided and one-sided link formation costs. Furthermore, we introduce a new equilibrium concept based on a limited, realistic form of farsightedness or trust in network formation.
Keywords: Trust, social networks, network formation, individual stability, pairwise stability
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