Stability, Efficiency, and Equity in Network Formation Games
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Nelson Pook, Kelly
Strategic network formation has seen sparse application in international relations (IR) where it can be used to model the evolution of relationships among international actors. Of interest to IR theorists is the relative stability of the international system: instability in the system could signal the onset of conflict, while stability can be interpreted as a more peaceful, less conflict-prone world. This paper presents a simulation program testing the sensitivity of a network's propensity to reach pairwise stability (defined by Jackson and Wolinsky 1996), giving particular attention to the utility functions governing the growth of the network. By pairing the assumptions of game theory, social network analysis, and international relations, the program simulates the conditions of an anarchic international system, with results interpretable across these three disciplines. The program is further meant to derive better insight into a number of issues within the strategic network formation literature, namely the development of mathematical theorems detailing the conditions for network stability.
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