nep-net New Economics Papers
on Network Economics
Issue of 2009‒02‒07
three papers chosen by
Yi-Nung Yang
Chung Yuan Christian University

  1. Internet network externalities By Cooper, Russel; Madden, Gary G
  2. Motivations to volunteer and social capital: the role of intrinsic motivations in promoting networks of cooperative relations By Giacomo Degli Antoni
  3. Networks and Political Attitudes: Structure, Influence, and Co-evolution By Lazer, David; Rubineau, Brian; Katz, Nancy; Chetkovich, Carol; Neblo, Michael A.

  1. By: Cooper, Russel; Madden, Gary G
    Abstract: Abstract: A driving force behind the emergence of the ‘new’ or information economy is the growth of the internet network capacity. A fundamental problem in mapping this dynamic is the lack of an acceptable theoretical framework through which to direct empirical investigations. Most of the models in the literature on network externalities have been developed in a static framework, with the externalities viewed as instantaneous or self-fulfilling. The model specified here builds on the received theory from several sources to extend these features and develops a dynamic model that is both capable of econometric estimation and which provides as an output a direct measure of the network effect. Accordingly, the main goal of this paper is to find the magnitude of the external effect on internet network growth. In addition, this paper illustrates the ability of the panel data to generate estimates of structural parameters capable of explaining internet host growth.
    Keywords: Information; network externalities; internet; growth
    JEL: L96
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Giacomo Degli Antoni (EconomEtica)
    Abstract: Although intrinsic motivations receive increasing attention in explaining human actions, our knowledge on their causes and effects is incomplete. Quite surprisingly, the existing literature fails to consider the relationship between intrinsic motivations and social capital formation. The present paper increases understanding on the effect of intrinsic motivations by studying the role that different motivations to volunteer have on the creation of volunteers’ social capital which is intended as networks of cooperative relations. Our empirical analysis considers three indices of social capital, aimed at measuring both the quantitative (number) and the qualitative (degree of familiarity and cooperation) character of social relations, and intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to volunteer (ideal motivations, the desire to feel useful to others, the pursuit of social recognition and the desire to increase the number of acquaintances or friends). We find that the creation of social capital through participation in voluntary associations is not indifferent to the motivations which induced the volunteer to start his/her unpaid activity. In particular, we show that intrinsic motivations enable people to extend their social networks by creating relations characterized by a significant degree of familiarity. By contrast, extrinsic motivations, and in particular the decision to join an association in order to increase the number of acquaintances or friends, promote the creation of networks from a quantitative point of view, but they do not facilitate the creation of relations based on a particular degree of confidence.
    Keywords: Intrinsic Motivations, Social Capital, Volunteer Work, Social Networks
    JEL: A13 D01 L31
    Date: 2009–01
  3. By: Lazer, David (Harvard U); Rubineau, Brian (Cornell U); Katz, Nancy (Harvard U); Chetkovich, Carol (Mills College); Neblo, Michael A. (Ohio State U)
    Abstract: How do political views and social affiliations co-evolve? A long stream of research has focused on the relationship between political views and social affiliations, however, it is typically difficult to discern the causal relationship between views and affiliations. Here we use longitudinal attitudinal and whole network data collected at critical times (notably, at the inception of the system) to pinpoint and specify the determinants of attitudes and affiliations. We find significant conformity tendencies: individuals shift their political views toward the political views of their associates. This conformity is driven by social ties rather than task ties. We also find that, while individuals tend to associate with similar others, political views are notably less a basis for associational choices than demographic and institutional factors.
    Date: 2008–09

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