Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Imitation and Efficient Contagion

Boyer, Tristan and Jonard, Nicolas (2010): Imitation and Efficient Contagion.

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Abstract

In this paper we study the conditions under which efficient behavior can spread from a finite initial seed group to an infinite population living on a network. We formulate conditions on payoffs and network structure under which overall contagion occurs in arbitrary regular networks. Central in this process is the communication pattern among players who are confronted with the same decision, i.e. who are at the same distance from the initial seed group. The extent to which these agents interact among themselves (rather than with players who already have faced or subsequently will face the decision problem) is critical in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. In the Coordination Game the key element is the cohesion of the efficient cluster, a property which is different from the one identified in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Additional results are obtained when we distinguish the interaction and information neighborhoods. Specifically, we find that contagion tends to be favored by fast neighborhood growth if an assumption of conservative behavior is made. We discuss our findings in relation to the notions of clustering, transitivity and cohesion.

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