Social network formation models are often compared by their network structures, which satisfy specific equilibrium or welfare properties. Here, we concentrate on welfare criteria and define properties of utility function which are causal for certain network structures. We hope the identification of different properties of utility function will enhance the understanding of the relationship of different network formation models. If this line of research is continued, a kind of engineering of network formation models might arise such that actual social networks can be directly described by appropriate utility functions.
social networks network formation rival networks welfare efficiency