nep-net New Economics Papers
on Network Economics
Issue of 2018‒11‒12
six papers chosen by
Pedro CL Souza
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro

  1. Superstar Economists: Coauthorship networks and research output By Hsieh, Chih-Sheng; König, Michael; Liu, Xiaodong; Zimmermann, Christian
  2. Broadband Internet and Social Capital By Geraci, Andrea; Nardotto, Mattia; Reggiani, Tommaso G.; Sabatini, Fabio
  3. Firm Heterogeneity and the Pattern of R&D Collaborations By Billand, Pascal; Bravard, Christophe; Durieu, Jacques; Sarangi, Sudipta
  4. Communication Networks and the Adoption of Technologies: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Jackering, L.; Fongar, A.; Godecke, T.; Mbugua, M.; Njuguna, M.; Ogutu, S.; Wollni, M.
  5. Social Networks and Tax Avoidance: Evidence from a Well-Defined Norwegian Tax Shelter By Annette Alstadsæter; Wojciech Kopczuk; Kjetil Telle
  6. Time-Use and Academic Peer Effects in College By Nirav Mehta; Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd Stinebrickner

  1. By: Hsieh, Chih-Sheng; König, Michael; Liu, Xiaodong; Zimmermann, Christian
    Abstract: We study the impact of research collaborations in coauthorship networks on research output and how optimal funding can maximize it. Through the links in the collaboration network, researchers create spillovers not only to their direct coauthors but also to researchers indirectly linked to them. We characterize the equilibrium when agents collaborate in multiple and possibly overlapping projects. We bring our model to the data by analyzing the coauthorship network of economists registered in the RePEc Author Service. We rank the authors and research institutions according to their contribution to the aggregate research output and thus provide a novel ranking measure that explicitly takes into account the spillover effect generated in the coauthorship network. Moreover, we analyze funding instruments for individual researchers as well as research institutions and compare them with the economics funding program of the National Science Foundation. Our results indicate that, because current funding schemes do not take into account the availability of coauthorship network data, they are ill-designed to take advantage of the spillover effects generated in scientific knowledge production networks.
    Keywords: coauthor networks; economics of science; key player; Research funding; scientific collaboration; Spillovers
    JEL: C72 D43 D85 L14 Z13
    Date: 2018–10
  2. By: Geraci, Andrea (University of Oxford); Nardotto, Mattia (KU Leuven); Reggiani, Tommaso G. (Masaryk University); Sabatini, Fabio (Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: We study how the diffusion of broadband Internet affects social capital using two data sets from the UK. Our empirical strategy exploits the fact that broadband access has long depended on customers' position in the voice telecommunication infrastructure that was designed in the 1930s. The actual speed of an Internet connection, in fact, rapidly decays with the distance of the dwelling from the specific node of the network serving its area. Merging unique information about the topology of the voice network with geocoded longitudinal data about individual social capital, we show that access to broadband Internet caused a significant decline in forms of offline interaction and civic engagement. Overall, our results suggest that broadband penetration substantially crowded out several aspects of social capital.
    Keywords: ICT, broadband infrastructure, networks, Internet, social capital, civic capital
    JEL: C91 D9 D91 Z1
    Date: 2018–09
  3. By: Billand, Pascal; Bravard, Christophe; Durieu, Jacques; Sarangi, Sudipta
    Abstract: We consider an oligopoly setting in which firms form pairwise collaborative links in R&D with other firms. Each collaboration generates a value that depends on the identity of the firms that collaborate. First, we provide properties satisfied by pairwise equilibrium networks and efficient networks. Second, we use these properties in two types of situation (1) there are two groups of firms, and the value of a collaboration is higher when firms belong to the same group; (2) some firms have more innovative capabilities than others. These two situations provide clear insights about how firms heterogeneity affects both equilibrium and efficient networks. We also show that the most valuable collaborative links do not always appear in equilibrium, and a public policy that increases the value of the most valuable links may lead to a loss of social welfare.
    Keywords: Networks, R&D collaborations, link value heterogeneity
    JEL: C72 D85 L13
    Date: 2018–08
  4. By: Jackering, L.; Fongar, A.; Godecke, T.; Mbugua, M.; Njuguna, M.; Ogutu, S.; Wollni, M.
    Abstract: A growing body of literature focuses on the importance of peer effects for farmers adoption decisions. However, little is known on how interventions affect networks. We are analyzing network changes and the influence of peer effects on the adoption of technologies. Our analysis builds on a unique dataset that combines a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with detailed panel data on communication networks. The RCT was implemented in rural Kenya and consisted of varying combinations of agricultural and nutrition training sessions. The broader purpose of the extension training was the promotion of the black bean variety KK15. Survey data from 48 farmer groups (824 households) was collected before (2015) and after (2016) the intervention. Results suggest that the intervention had a positive impact on the creation of communication links. We find positive effects of adopting peers on individual adoption decisions. Further, peer effects become increasingly important for the adoption decision of farmers attending a higher share of training sessions. Hence, training farmer groups can be very efficient in diffusing new technologies since peer effects can stimulate and drive the adoption process. Acknowledgement : This research was financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) based on the decision of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany (grant number 2813FSNu01). The authors thank the University of Nairobi and Africa Harvest for their research cooperation. We would like to express our special gratitude to all respondents and enumerators who were part of this survey.
    Keywords: Research and Development/ Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2018–07
  5. By: Annette Alstadsæter; Wojciech Kopczuk; Kjetil Telle
    Abstract: In 2005, over 8% of Norwegian shareholders transferred their shares to new (legal) tax shelters intended to defer taxation of capital gains and dividends that would otherwise be taxable in the aftermath of 2006 reform. Using detailed administrative data we identify family networks and describe how take up of tax avoidance progresses within a network. A feature of the reform was that the ability to set up a tax shelter changed discontinuously with individual shareholding of a firm and we use this fact to estimate the causal effect of availability of tax avoidance for a taxpayer on tax avoidance by others in the network. We find that take up in a social network increases the likelihood that others will take up. This suggests that taxpayers affect each other's decisions about tax avoidance, highlighting the importance of accounting for social interactions in understanding enforcement and tax avoidance behavior, and providing a concrete example of “optimization frictions” in the context of behavioral responses to taxation.
    JEL: D22 D23 H25 H26 H32
    Date: 2018–10
  6. By: Nirav Mehta; Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd Stinebrickner
    Abstract: This paper examines academic peer effects in college. Unique new data from the Berea Panel Study allow us to focus on a mechanism wherein a student's peers affect her achievement by changing her study effort. Although the potential relevance of this mechanism has been recognized, data limitations have made it difficult to provide direct evidence about its importance. We find that a student's freshman grade point average is affected by the amount her peers studied in high school, suggesting the importance of this mechanism. Using time diary information, we confirm that college study time is actually being affected.
    JEL: I0 I21 I23 J22
    Date: 2018–10

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