(Monday, 15th May 2023)
Title : The econometrics of social interactions/networks
How can we test whether tenancy contract arrangements are governed by social norms? Or whether potential criminal offenders’ decisions to commit crime depend on their peers actions? Or whether the performance of students across classrooms depends on their peers’ performance? How can we test whether families’ residential neighborhood choices are influenced by the racial composition of the neighborhoods they are considering? How can we test whether collective action spreads through information diffusion across protesters? Or whether participation in welfare programs is subject to social stigma? These are only a few examples of what economists call non-market mediated social interaction effects. This lecture will provide an overview of the empirical literature studying social interactions. It will focus on the main econometric challenges that arise when trying to estimate them, will cover the basic tools for addressing them (social multipliers, networks models, creative experimental designs, etc.), and will discuss some applied examples from social economics and political economy that have used these tools successfully.