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An experimental device to elicit social networks

Pablo Brañas-Garza, Ramon Cobo-Reyes, Natalia Jiménez () and Giovanni Ponti ()

No 05/19, ThE Papers from Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada.

Abstract: This paper proposes an original mechanism to elicit latent social networks. Subjects are invited to reveal their friends’ name and surname, together with a score measuring the strength of relationship. According to the mechanism, subjects are rewarded of a fixed price either a) when they do not name anybody or b) when the scores of a randomly selected (bidirectional) link are sufficiently close. We test the mechanism’s performance in the field. Our main results are: i) a very large percentage of links (75%) were corresponded. ii) the mechanism largely captures strong friendship relations and practically ignores weak relations. A simple model of friend—regarding preferences is developed to explain this evidence.

Keywords: friendship; networks; experiments; other—regarding preferences. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D85 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2005-09-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-gth, nep-net and nep-soc
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Journal Article: Altruism and social integration (2010) Downloads
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