Networks are crucial in understanding economic outcomes. Multiple key economic questions require a network analysis. Whether an individual purchases one commodity or another may depend on from whom he seeks advice about prices and product qualities. The care given to a patient in a hospital and how much it costs can depend on the network connections of the hospital and of the physician. Understanding how networks form, how they are used and their structure in diverse situations is important to almost all aspects of the social sciences. To understand the fundamental properties of networked societies and economies, those that may hold in diverse situations, it is crucial to develop a deeper understanding of network theory from multiple perspectives. This award funds a series of conferences that will advance research in this area. The workshops will also disseminate work in progress, enable promising research to find a critical audience and valuable feedback, and will provide new researchers to the area and graduate students a source of exposure to some of the cutting-edge, new and path-breaking research on networks.
Each conference in the series will have a theme but all papers submitted relevant to the general focus of the conference series will be considered. Key economic issues of interest include networked markets, contagion and diffusion, homophily, segregation and discrimination, networks in economic development, and inequality. Cooperative and non-cooperative game theoretic approaches as well as decision-theoretic approaches will be relevant. There are also related theoretical and econometric issues of developing new models and statistical techniques for estimating networked interactions, which may also be treated.
Within the context of networked models there will be presentations of research a wide variety of applied fields in economics. Organizers will invite speakers doing related research from other disciplines, including computer science, sociology, and statistical physics in order to encourage interdisciplinary work.