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Network theory and social economics - a promising conjunction?

Gräbner, Claudius and Heinrich, Torsten and Kudic, Muhamed (2017): Network theory and social economics - a promising conjunction?

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Abstract

Socio-economic systems are characterized by the properties of participating individuals and by the structure of the interactions and relations among them. Not adequately reflecting upon this structure usually leads to a deficient understanding of both the individual parts, and the system as a whole. Here we argue that therefore a closer relationship between socio-economics and network science is expedient. But for this to happen, a common language for the two fields is required. Against this backdrop we discuss examples of what has been accomplished by studying socio-economic systems with network theoretic methods and highlight potential contributions of socio-economists to this field. We identify a high thematic overlap in network theory and socio-economic literature and conclude that both socio-economists and network theorists could benefit greatly from a closer relationship between the two fields. We highlight, however, the need for adopting graph theory as a common language.

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