Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/101961
Authors: 
Buechel, Berno
Hellmann, Tim
Kölßner, Stefan
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
Nota di Lavoro, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 51.2014
Abstract: 
We study a dynamic model of opinion formation in social networks. In our model, boundedly rational agents update opinions by averaging over their neighbors' expressed opinions, but may misrepresent their own opinion by conforming or counter-conforming with their neighbors. We show that an agent's social influence on the long-run group opinion is increasing in network centrality and decreasing in conformity. Concerning efficiency of information aggregation or “wisdom" of the society, it turns out that misrepresentation of opinions need not undermine wisdom, but may even enhance it. Given the network, we provide the optimal distribution of conformity levels in the society and show which agents should be more conforming in order to increase wisdom.
Subjects: 
Opinion Leadership
Wisdom Of Crowds
Consensus
Social Networks
Conformity
Eigenvector Centrality
JEL: 
C72
D83
D85
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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