nep-net New Economics Papers
on Network Economics
Issue of 2009‒12‒05
four papers chosen by
Yi-Nung Yang
Chung Yuan Christian University

  1. A knowledge based approach to collaboration in basic research By Caminati, Mauro
  2. Ethnic Identity and Social Distance in Friendship Formation By De Martí, Joan; Zenou, Yves
  3. Robust Resource Allocations in Temporal Networks By Wolfram Wiesemann; Daniel Kuhn; Berc Rustem
  4. Voluntary Public Goods Provision, Coalition Formation, and Uncertainty By Nicholas E. Burger; Charles D. Kolstad

  1. By: Caminati, Mauro
    Abstract: This paper suggests a knowledge based approach to the formation of collaboration networks in basic research. Though mainly focused on foundations, it provides the example of a knowledge distribution supporting pairwise equilibrium outcomes which correspond to a star-like collaboration network.
    Keywords: ideas; knowledge endowment; modularity; collaboration game; pairwise equilibrium; star network.
    JEL: O30 D85
    Date: 2009–11–25
  2. By: De Martí, Joan; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We analyze a model of network formation with agents that belong to different communities and an endogenous cost structure. Both individual benefits and costs depend on direct as well as indirect connections. Benefits of an indirect connection decrease with distance in the network, while the cost of a link depends on the type of agents involved in it as well as the rest of linkage decisions of both of them. Two individuals from the same community always face a low linking cost. The cost of forming a relationship for two individuals belonging to different communities diminishes with the rate of exposure of each of them to the other community. As a result, our model introduces endogenous social distances that rely on individual positions in the network. We derive a number of results with regard to equilibrium networks: (i) socialization among the same type of agents might be weak even if the within-type link cost is very low; (ii) oppositional identity patterns can arise for a wide range of parameters; (iii) integrated networks can be socially preferable to segregated networks.
    Keywords: bridges; ethnic minorities; identity; Network formation; social norms; structural holes
    JEL: A14 D85 J15
    Date: 2009–11
  3. By: Wolfram Wiesemann; Daniel Kuhn; Berc Rustem
    Abstract: Temporal networks describe workflows of time-consuming tasks whose processing order is constrained by precedence relations. In many cases, the durations of the network tasks can be influenced by the assignment of resources. This leads to the problem of selecting an ‘optimal’ resource allocation, where optimality is measured by network characteristics such as the makespan (i.e., the time required to complete all tasks). In this paper, we study a robust resource allocation problem where the functional relationship between task durations and resource assignments is uncertain, and the goal is to minimise the worst-case makespan. We show that this problem is generically NP-hard. We then develop convergent bounds for the optimal objective value, as well as feasible allocations whose objective values are bracketed by these bounds. Numerical results provide empirical support for the proposed method.
    Keywords: Robust Optimisation, Temporal Networks, Resource Allocation Problem
    Date: 2009–11–06
  4. By: Nicholas E. Burger; Charles D. Kolstad
    Abstract: The literature on voluntary provision of public goods includes recent theoretical work on the formation of voluntary coalitions to provide public goods. Theory is ambiguous on the equilibrium coalition size and contribution rates. We examine the emergence of coalitions, their size, and how uncertainty in public goods provision affects contribution levels and coalition size. We find that contributions decrease when public good returns are uncertain but increase when individuals can form a coalition to provide the good. Contrary a core theoretical result, we find that coalition size increases when the public good benefits are higher. Uncertainty has no effect on coalition size.
    JEL: C7 C91 C92 H23 H4 H41 Q5 Q54
    Date: 2009–11

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