Peer Effects and Peer Avoidance: The Diffusion of Behavior in Coevolving Networks Articles uri icon

authors

  • FOSCO PEREA-MUÑOZ, CONSTANZA MARIA
  • MARSILI, MATTEO
  • VEGA REDONDO, FERNANDO

publication date

  • March 2010

start page

  • 169

end page

  • 202

issue

  • 1

volume

  • 8

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1542-4766

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1542-4774

abstract

  • We study the long-run emergence of behavioral patterns in dynamic complex net- works. Individuals can display two kinds of behavior: G (good) or B (bad). We assume that the exposure of a G agent to bad
    behavior on the part of peers/neighbors triggers her own switch to B
    behavior, but only temporarily. We model the implications of such peer
    eects as an epidemic process in the standard SIS (Susceptible-Infected-
    Susceptible) framework. The key novelty of our model is that, unlike in
    the received literature, the network is taken to change over time within
    the same time scale as be- havior. Specically, we posit that links
    connecting two G agents last longer, reecting the idea that B agents
    tend to be avoided. The main concern of the paper is to under- stand the
    extent to which such biased network turnover may play a signicant role
    in supporting G behavior in a social system. And indeed we nd that
    network coevolution has nontrivial and interesting eects on long-run
    behavior. This yields fresh insights on the role of (endogenous) peer
    pressure on the diusion of (a)social behavior and also has some bearing
    on the traditional study of disease epidemics.