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The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics

Editor-in-Chief: Schipper, Burkhard

Ed. by Cervellati, Matteo / Fong, Yuk-fai / Peeters, Ronald / Puzzello , Daniela / Rivas, Javier

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Local Network Effects and Complex Network Structure

Arun Sundararajan1

1New York University,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics. Volume 7, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1704, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1704.1319, January 2008

Publication History

Published Online:

This paper presents a model of local network effects in which agents connected in a social network each value the adoption of a product by a heterogeneous subset of other agents in their neighborhood, and have incomplete information about the structure and strength of adoption complementarities between all other agents. I show that the symmetric Bayes-Nash equilibria of this network game are in monotone strategies, can be strictly Pareto-ranked based on a scalar neighbor-adoption probability value, and that the greatest such equilibrium is uniquely coalition-proof. Each Bayes-Nash equilibrium has a corresponding fulfilled-expectations equilibrium under which agents form local adoption expectations. Examples illustrate cases in which the social network is an instance of a Poisson random graph, when it is a complete graph, a standard model of network effects, and when it is a generalized random graph. A generating function describing the structure of networks of adopting agents is characterized as a function of the Bayes-Nash equilibrium they play, and empirical implications of this characterization are discussed.

Keywords: social networks; network science; network externalities; network goods; rational expectations; local information; complex network; small-world

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