nep-net New Economics Papers
on Network Economics
Issue of 2007‒09‒09
four papers chosen by
Yi-Nung Yang
Chung Yuan Christian University

  1. Action, Function, & Structure; Interpreting Network Effects on Behavior in Rural Malawi By Guy Stecklov; Alejandro Alexander Weinreb
  2. Designing a Two-Sided Platform: When To Increase Search Costs? By HAGIU, Andrei; JULLIEN, Bruno
  3. The Knowledge Economics of Cooperatives By Helmut Dietl; Martin Grossmann
  4. Explaining Gift Behavior: Altruism or Social Norms? Theory and Evidence from Romania By Mitrut, Andreea; Nordblom, Katarina

  1. By: Guy Stecklov (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization); Alejandro Alexander Weinreb (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)
    Abstract: A long series of ethnographic and sociological studies on kinship systems and information flows in developing societies has portrayed networks as varying structurally, serving multiple functions, and expressing themselves in different types of interaction. Little of this earlier work has informed empirical research in demography or development-related research. In stead, the latter operationalize social networks in relatively narrow ways, allowing for little overlap between multiple networks, and focusing on a subset of potential causal mechanisms. In an effort to pull the empirical literature closer to its qualitative forbearer, we use data from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideation Change Project to test how conversation networks and transfer networks overlap. We offer some predictions regarding how these overlapping networks might individually or jointly influence distinct outcome including ownership of livestock, planning innovative crops and HIV testing. Our sample of women from Malawi, interviewed in 3 rounds across a 6-year period, also enables us to question the inter-temporal stability of network effects. Our findings highlight: (a) how networks based on different actions appear nonetheless consistent with diverse behavioral outcomes; (b) how there is relatively little overlap between conversational and transfer networks; and (c) how there is considerable instability in temporal effects of conversational networks.
    Keywords: Agricultural innovation, social networks, risk diversification, HIV testing.
    JEL: J1 O1 O3 D8 D85
    Date: 2007
  2. By: HAGIU, Andrei; JULLIEN, Bruno
    JEL: L1 L2 L8
    Date: 2007–08–23
  3. By: Helmut Dietl (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Martin Grossmann (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We model a value chain, which consists of two stages of value creation. Within this model we show how the relative importance of general and idiosyncratic knowledge interacts with the hold up problem to determine the comparative advantages of markets, hierarchies, and cooperatives. In our model a market form is (weakly) dominated by a cooperative organization. We show that cooperatives (hierarchies) are an efficient response to the hold up problem if idiosyncratic (general) knowledge is important. A trade off arises if both general and idiosyncratic knowledge is important for value creation. This trade off determines the choice between cooperatives (idiosyncratic knowledge is relatively more important) and hierarchies (general knowledge is relatively more important).
    Keywords: Cooperatives, Information, Knowledge
    JEL: D82 D83 L22
    Date: 2007–09
  4. By: Mitrut, Andreea (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Nordblom, Katarina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the motives behind inter-household gift transfers. A theoretical model is developed where, besides altruistic income redistribution, social norms (related to e.g. customs and traditions) motivate gift giving. We apply the model to Romania, a country where private gifts are very important, and find evidence for social norms being the main motive for gift giving. However, different norms determine gift transfers to poor and non-poor households. Moreover, we find no crowding-out effects from public pensions on private gifts.<p>
    Keywords: Transfers; altruism; reciprocity; Romania; social norms
    JEL: D10 H55 I30 J14 R20 Z13
    Date: 2007–09–04

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