Matthew O. Jackson

Matthew O. Jackson
Stanford University | SU · Department of Economics

PhD Stanford University 1988

About

316
Publications
47,944
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25,961
Citations

Publications

Publications (316)
Article
We develop a model of social interactions, as well as strategic interactions that depend on such social activity, and use it to measure social complementarities in the legislative process. Our model allows for partisan bias and homophily in the formation of relationships, which then impact legislative output. We use it to show how increased elector...
Article
We study how communication platforms can improve social learning without censoring or fact-checking messages, when they have members who deliberately and/or inadvertently distort information. Message fidelity depends on social network depth (how many times information can be relayed) and breadth (the number of others with whom a typical user shares...
Chapter
Machines powered by artificial intelligence increasingly mediate our social, cultural, economic, and political interactions. This chapter frames and surveys the emerging interdisciplinary field of machine behaviour: the scientific study of behaviour exhibited by intelligent machines. It outlines the key research themes, questions, and landmark rese...
Article
We provide an overview of the relationship between financial networks and systemic risk. We present a taxonomy of different types of systemic risk, differentiating between direct externalities between financial organizations (e.g., defaults, correlated portfolios, fire sales), and perceptions and feedback effects (e.g., bank runs, credit freezes)....
Article
Significance Differences in beliefs within a society are a prevalent human phenomenon. A standard explanation for polarized beliefs relies on “echo chambers” that expose people to different sources of information. However, there is ample evidence that people sustain different beliefs even when faced with the same information, and they interpret tha...
Article
Significance The lack of coordination between governments on systemic problems, from climate change to financial contagions, has large costs that are well exemplified by a pandemic. We identify which quarantine policies are effective in curbing an outbreak and use that to understand how governments’ prioritization of their own populace and failure...
Preprint
Full-text available
We evaluate a large-scale set of interventions to increase demand for immunization in Haryana, India. The policies under consideration include the two most frequently discussed tools--reminders and incentives--as well as an intervention inspired by the networks literature. We cross-randomize whether (a) individuals receive SMS reminders about upcom...
Preprint
The transition to college is a challenging time during which many students suffer declines in well-being. Social connections play a key role in supporting mental health, but only tell part of the story of social life on campus. For instance, the personalities of one’s friends and neighbors on campus contribute to a “social microclimate.” Here, we q...
Preprint
We analyze how interdependencies between organizations in financial networks can lead to multiple possible equilibrium outcomes. A multiplicity arises if and only if there exists a certain type of dependency cycle in the network that allows for self-fulfilling chains of defaults. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for banks' solvency in...
Preprint
Full-text available
We provide an overview of the relationship between financial networks and systemic risk. We present a taxonomy of different types of systemic risk, differentiating between direct externalities between financial organizations (e.g., defaults, correlated portfolios and firesales), and perceptions and feedback effects (e.g., bank runs, credit freezes)...
Preprint
We study the consequences of job markets' heavy reliance on referrals. Referrals screen candidates and lead to better matches and increased productivity, but disadvantage job-seekers who have few or no connections to employed workers, leading to increased inequality. Coupled with homophily, referrals also lead to immobility: a demographic group's l...
Preprint
Regional quarantine policies, in which a portion of a population surrounding infections are locked down, are an important tool to contain disease. However, jurisdictional governments - such as cities, counties, states, and countries - act with minimal coordination across borders. We show that a regional quarantine policy's effectiveness depends upo...
Article
Social scientists have long appreciated that relationships between individuals cannot be described from observing a single domain, and that the structure across domains of interaction can have important effects on outcomes of interest (e.g., cooperation; Durkheim, 1893). One debate explicitly about this surrounds food sharing. Some argue that faili...
Article
Full-text available
I provide a typology of social capital, breaking it down into seven more fundamental forms of capital: information capital, brokerage capital, coordination and leadership capital, bridging capital, favor capital, reputation capital, and community capital. I discuss how most of these forms of social capital can be identified using different network-...
Chapter
I discuss economists’ views of what they do, and the particular roles of models and theory. The focus is on theory’s role in the design of social and economic systems—past, present, and future.
Article
Can we identify highly central individuals in a network without collecting network data, simply by asking community members? Can seeding information via such nominated individuals lead to significantly wider diffusion than via randomly chosen people, or even respected ones? In two separate large field experiments in India, we answer both questions...
Article
Full-text available
Machines powered by artificial intelligence increasingly mediate our social, cultural, economic and political interactions. Understanding the behaviour of artificial intelligence systems is essential to our ability to control their actions, reap their benefits and minimize their harms. Here we argue that this necessitates a broad scientific researc...
Preprint
Anthropologists have long appreciated that single-layer networks are insufficient descriptions of human interactions---individuals are embedded in complex networks with dependencies. One debate explicitly about this surrounds food sharing. Some argue that failing to find reciprocal food sharing means that some process other than reciprocity must be...
Book
I discuss how a handful of simple and quantifiable features of human networks yield enormous insight into why we behave the way we do. Two threads are interwoven: why human networks have special features, and how those features determine our power, opinions, opportunities, behaviors, and accomplishments. Some of the topics included are: the differe...
Preprint
We examine how well someone learns when information from an original sources only reaches them after repeated person-to-person noisy relay (oral or written). We consider three distortions in communication: random mutation of message content, random failure of message transmission, and deliberate biasing of message content. We characterize how many...
Article
The “friendship paradox” (first noted by Feld in 1991) refers to the fact that, on average, people have strictly fewer friends than their friends have. I show that this oversampling of more popular people can lead people to perceive more engagement than exists in the overall population. This feeds back to amplify engagement in behaviors that involv...
Article
We introduce a model in which agents observe signals about the state of the world, and some signals are open to interpretation. Our decision makers first interpret each signal based on their current belief and then form a posterior on the sequence of interpreted signals. This “double updating” leads to confirmation bias and can lead agents who obse...
Article
Whether an idea, information, or infection diffuses throughout a society depends not only on the structure of the network of interactions, but also on the timing of those interactions. People are not always available to interact with others, and people differ in the timing of when they are active. Some people are active for long periods and then in...
Article
I provide a typology of social capital, breaking it down into seven more fundamental forms of capital: information capital, brokerage capital, coordination and leadership capital, bridging capital, favor capital, reputation capital, and community capital. I discuss how most of these forms of social capital can be identified using different network-...
Article
We develop a theory of `behavioral communities' and the `atomic structure' of networks. We define atoms to be groups of agents whose behaviors always match each other in a set of coordination games played on the network. This provides a microfoundation for a method of detecting communities in social and economic networks. We provide theoretical res...
Article
Individuals benefit from occupying central roles in social networks, but little is known about the psychological traits that predict centrality. Across four college freshman dorms (n = 193), we characterized individuals with a battery of personality questionnaires and also asked them to nominate dorm members with whom they had different types of re...
Conference Paper
Whether an idea, information, disease, or innovation diffuses throughout a society depends not only on the structure of the network of interactions, but also on the timing of those interactions. Recent studies have shown that diffusion can fail on a network in which people are only active in "bursts," active for a while and then silent for a while,...
Article
We examine the interplay between social norms and the enforcement of laws. Agents choose a behavior (e.g., tax evasion, production of low-quality products, corruption, harassing behavior, substance abuse, etc.) and then are randomly matched with another agent. There are complementarities in behaviors so that an agent’s payoff decreases with the mis...
Article
We survey the literature on the economic consequences of the structure of social networks. We develop a taxonomy of "macro" and "micro" characteristics of social-interaction networks and discuss both the theoretical and empirical findings concerning the role of those characteristics in determining learning, diffusion, decisions, and resulting behav...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a new class of random-graph models for the statistical estimation of network formation that allow for substantial correlation in links. Various subgraphs (e.g., links, triangles, cliques, stars) are generated and their union results in a network. We provide estimation techniques for recovering the rates at which the underlying subgraphs...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown that non-Poisson ("bursty") behaviors in human interactions can impede the diffusion of information or infectious diseases in social networks. Those studies generally consider models in which nodes are independently active according to the same random timing process, and vary that timing. In reality, people differ widely i...
Article
Full-text available
We discuss social network analysis from the perspective of economics. We organize the presentaion around the theme of externalities: the effects that one's behavior has on others' well-being. Externalities underlie the interdependencies that make networks interesting. We discuss network formation, as well as interactions between peoples' behaviors...
Article
We show that although the prominent centrality measures in network analysis make use of different information about nodes' positions, they all process that information in an identical way: they all spring from a common family that are characterized by the same simple axioms. In particular, they are all based on a monotonic and additively separable...
Article
How can a principal (employer or voter) induce an agent (worker or politician) to choose the “right” actions if risky actions reveal the agent's decision-making competence and only dismissal can be used as an incentive instrument? We first show that if the principal can commit to a replacement strategy, then optimal mechanisms involve either (i) a...
Article
The "friendship paradox" (Feld 1991) is the structural implication of networks that, on average, peoples' friends have strictly more friends than the average person in a network. In particular, the number of people who observe a given person is proportional to the number of connections that the person has. This can distort perceptions of norms and...
Article
When a new product or technology is introduced, potential consumers can learn its quality by trying the product, at a risk, or by letting others try it and free-riding on the information that they generate. We propose a dynamic game to study the adoption of technologies of uncertain value, when agents are connected by a network and a monopolist sel...
Article
We introduce a model in which agents observe signals about the state of the world, some of which are open to interpretation. Our decision makers use Bayes’ rule in an iterative way: first to interpret each signal and then to form a posterior on the sequence of interpreted signals. This ‘double updating’ leads to confirmation bias and can lead agent...
Article
We characterize environments in which there exists a representative agent: an agent who inherits the structure of preferences of the population that she represents. The existence of such a representative agent imposes very strong restrictions on individual utility functions -- requiring them to be linear in the allocation and additively separable i...
Article
We survey the literature on the economic consequences of the structure of social networks. We develop a taxonomy of "macro" and "micro" characteristics of social-interaction networks and discuss both the theoretical and empirical findings concerning the role of those characteristics in determining learning, diffusion, decisions, and resulting behav...
Article
As economists endeavor to build better models of human behavior, they cannot ignore that humans are fundamentally a social species with interaction patterns that shape their behaviors. People's opinions, which products they buy, whether they invest in education, become criminals, and so forth, are all influenced by friends and acquaintances. Ultima...
Article
Full-text available
We study cascades of failures in a network of interdependent financial organizations: how discontinuous changes in asset values (e.g., defaults and shutdowns) trigger further failures, and how this depends on network structure. Integration (greater dependence on counterparties) and diversification (more counterparties per organization) have differe...
Article
Full-text available
We examine different populations' play in coordination games in online experiments with over 1,000 study participants. Study participants played a two-player coordination game that had multiple equilibria: two equilibria with highly asymmetric payoffs and another equilibrium with symmetric payoffs but a slightly lower total payoff. Study participan...
Article
We examine individuals' abilities to identify the highly central people in their social networks, where centrality is defined by diffusion centrality (Banerjee et al., 2013), which characterizes a node's influence in spreading information. We first show that diffusion centrality nests standard centrality measures -- degree, eigenvector and Katz-Bon...
Article
How can we identify the most influential nodes in a network for initiating diffusion? Are people able to easily identify those people in their communities who are best at spreading information, and if so How? Using theory and recent data, we will examine these questions and see how the structure of social networks affects information transmission r...
Article
We investigate the role of networks of alliances in preventing (multilateral) interstate wars. We first show that, in the absence of international trade, no network of alliances is peaceful and stable. We then show that international trade induces peaceful and stable networks: trade increases the density of alliances so that countries are less vuln...
Article
Full-text available
We examine how three different communication processes operating through social networks are affected by homophily – the tendency of individuals to associate with others similar to themselves. Homophily has no effect if messages are broadcast or sent via shortest paths; only connection density matters. In contrast, homophily sub-stantially slows le...
Article
We provide an overview and synthesis of the literature on how social networks influence behaviors, with a focus on diffusion. We discuss some highlights from the empirical literature on the impact of networks on behaviors and diffusion. We also discuss some of the more prominent models of network interactions, including recent advances regarding in...
Article
We examine the interplay between social norms and the enforcement of laws. Agents choose a behavior (e.g., tax evasion, production of low-quality products, corruption, substance abuse, etc.) and then are randomly matched with another agent. An agent's payoff decreases with the mismatch between her behavior and her partner's, as well as average beha...
Article
We examine different populations' play in coordination games in online experiments with over a thousand subjects. Subjects played a two-player coordination game that had multiple equilibria: two equilibria with highly asymmetric payoffs and another equilibrium with symmetric payoffs but a slightly lower total payoff. Subjects were predominantly fro...
Article
In this paper I discuss what we have learned about how the structure of social networks impacts economic behaviors, and why it is important to include network information in many economic studies. I also discuss some issues of estimating models of network formation, and some of the challenges of accounting for endogenous networks in analyzing inter...
Article
We examine the interplay between social norms and the enforcement of laws. Agents choose a behavior (e.g., tax evasion, production of low-quality products, corruption, substance abuse, etc.) and then are randomly matched with another agent. An agent's payoff decreases with the mismatch between her behavior and her partner's, as well as average beha...
Article
In this paper we analyze the problem of how a principal can induce an agent or `leader' to make the right decision when the leader's competence rather than effort is being evaluated. If the value of foregone projects are not observed, and the leader's competency is only indirectly inferrable through the success or failure of projects that she under...
Article
To study the impact of the choice of injection points in the diffusion of a new product in a society, we developed a model of word-of-mouth diffusion and then applied it to data on social networks and participation in a newly available microfinance loan program in 43 Indian villages. Our model allows us to distinguish information passing among neig...
Article
Alvin Roth's research on, and design of, new economic systems has had a wide and large impact on human welfare, from the matching of residents to medical programs, to the assignment of students to schools, to the manner in which kidneys are allocated to patients needing transplants. This article discusses his important contributions to the understa...
Article
We develop a model of matching from firms' perspectives and draw resulting conclusions for the macro-dynamics of an economy. The key insight is that firms may wish to hire workers that are bad matches (having low productivity) in high-demand states, even if the worker must be hired to a long-run contract. This results an increasing fraction of bad...
Article
Full-text available
I provide a brief introduction to the early literatures on Matching, Auctions, and Market Design.The design of matching markets and auctions has brought economic theory and practice together. Indeed, this is an area where microeconomic theory has had its largest direct impact. This is in part because it focuses on settings where people interact acc...
Article
We provide an overview and synthesis of the literatures analyzing games where players are connected via a network structure. We study, in particular, the impact of the structure of the network on individuals' behaviors. We focus on the game theoretic modeling, but also include some discussion of analyses of peer effects, as well as applications to...
Article
Full-text available
We model contagions and cascades of failures among organizations linked through a network of financial interdependencies. We identify how the network propagates discontinuous changes in asset values triggered by failures (e.g., bankruptcies, defaults, and other insolvencies) and use that to study the consequences of integration (each organization b...
Article
We define a general class of network formation models, Statistical Exponential Random Graph Models (SERGMs), that nest standard exponential random graph models (ERGMs) as a special case. We analyze conditions for practical and consistent estimation of the associated network formation parameters, addressing two open issues in the estimation of expon...
Article
We study collective decisions by time-discounting individuals choosing a common consumption stream. We show that with any heterogeneity in time preferences, utilitarian aggregation necessitates a present bias. In lab experiments three quarters of “social planners” exhibited present biases, and less than two percent were time consistent. Roughly a t...
Article
Full-text available
We test theoretical results from Golub and Jackson (2012a), which are based on a random network model, regarding time to convergence of a learning/behavior-updating process. In particular, we see how well those theoretical results match the process when it is simulated on empirically observed high school friendship networks. This tests whether a pa...
Article
A set of voters consults experts before voting over two alternatives. Experts observe private signals about the values of the alternatives and can reveal their information or conceal it, but cannot lie. We examine how disclosure and voting vary with preference biases, signal precision, and the voting rule. Unanimity rule can lead to greater informa...
Article
We model network formation when heterogeneous nodes enter sequentially and form connections through both random meetings and network-based search, but with type-dependent biases. We show that there is "long-run integration," whereby the composition of types in sufficiently old nodes' neighborhoods approaches the global type distribution, provided t...