Innovation Creation and Diffusion in a Social Network: An Agent Based Approach
Intesa SanPaolo SpA
University of Turin
Market is not only the result of the behaviour of agents, as we can find other forms of contact and communication. Many of them are determined by proximity conditions in some kind of space: in this paper we pay a particular attention to relational space, that is the space determined by the relationships between individuals. The paper starts from a brief account on theoretical and empirical literature on social networks. Social networks represent people and their relationships as networks, in which individuals are nodes and the relationships between them are ties. In particular, graph theory is used in literature in order to demonstrate some properties of social networks summarised in the concept of Small Worlds. The concept may be used to explain how some phenomena involving relations among agents have effects on multiple different geographical scales, involving both the local and the global scale. The empirical section of the paper is introduced by a brief summary of simulation techniques in social science and economics as a way to investigate complexity. The model investigates the dynamics of a population of firms (potential innovators) and consumers interacting in a space defined as a social network. Consumers are represented in the model in order to create a competitive environment pushing enterprises into innovative process (we refer to Schumpeter's definition): from interaction between consumers and firms innovation emerges as a relational good.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: Innovation, small world, computational economics, network, complexity
JEL Classification: C63, D24, O33, L10, L20
Date posted: October 14, 2006