Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 14 , No. 3

[ Article ]
Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 299-321
Abbreviation: SJE
ISSN: 1225-0279 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Aug 2001
Received 09 Jun 2001 Revised 25 Jan 2002

The Existence of Pairwise Stable Networks
Matthew O. Jackson ; Alison Watts
Professor of Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA, Tel: +1-626-395-4022 (jacksonm@hss.caltech.edu)
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Southern illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA, Tel: +1-618-453-5072 (wattsa@siu.edu)

JEL Classification: A14, D20, J00


We examine networks connecting individuals, where the payoff to an individual from an economic or social activity depends on the full network of connections among individuals. Individuals can form and sever links connecting themselves to other individuals based on the improvement that the resulting network offers them relative to the current network. As individuals do this, we obtain sequences of networks called ‘improving paths.’ We study conditions under which such sequences cycle, and conditions under which such sequences lead to a stable network. Specifically, we give conditions necessary and sufficient to rule out cycles, which are in turn sufficient conditions for existence of pairwise stable networks.

Keywords: Networks, Pairwise stable, Network formation


This paper was prepared for a lecture presented at the 9th SJE-KlSDl International Symposium: Cost Allocation in Telecommunications, Seoul National University. We thank the participants for the helpful discussion and especially to Youngsub Chun for the invitation to participate.

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