Who knows? The Effect of Information Access on Social Network Centrality
Speaker(s)Pedro CL Souza (Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom)
FieldOrganizations and Markets
LocationErasmus University Rotterdam, Campus Woudestein, Polak 2-09
Date and time
November 21, 2022
11:30 - 12:30
Network centrality plays a key role in many economic processes. Yet, the causal determinants of centrality are not well understood. We conducted a randomized experiment in Malawian boarding secondary schools, providing one fifth of students with exclusive access to an online information source throughout the school year. Using a panel of complete and detailed network data, we show that information access leads to a large and sustained increase in network centrality, as students form new strategic links. We calibrate and simulate a model of strategic network formation to demonstrate implications for network-based targeting, information diffusion, inequality and welfare.
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