Can People Form Links to Efficiently Access Information?

Stefano Caria*, Marcel Fafchamps

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate how individuals form social connections to access information. In our link formation game of one-way-flows, the myopic best response is to link to the node with the highest informational reach, which depends on indirect links. This strategy leads to the efficient circle network. We find that myopic best response predicts the links that subjects form. However, some subjects target high-degree nodes instead, neglecting indirect connections. This reduces network efficiency. We obtain similar findings when subjects link to transfer information to others. Using a minimal group treatment, we also find evidence of in-group homophily in link formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1966–1994
Number of pages29
JournalEconomic Journal
Early online date24 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Structured keywords

  • ECON Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON Applied Economics


  • India
  • homophily
  • myopic best response
  • Network formation


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