Influential opinion leaders Articles uri icon

publication date

  • December 2014

start page

  • 1147

end page

  • 1167

issue

  • 581

volume

  • 124

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-0133

abstract

  • We present a two-stage coordination game in which early choices of experts with special interests are observed by followers who move in the second stage. We show that the equilibrium outcome is biased toward the experts' interests even though followers know the distribution of expert interests. Expert influence is fully decentralised in the sense that each individual expert has a negligible impact. The bias in favour of experts results from a social learning effect that is multiplied through a coordination motive. We apply our results to the onset of social movements and to the diffusion of products with network externalities.

keywords

  • regime change; global games; information; revolution; coordination; diffusion; networks; cascades; activism; attacks