H. Young

Paper #: 02-04-018

We consider processes in which new technologies and forms of behavior are transmitted through social or geographic networks. Agents adopt behaviors based on a combination of their inherent payoff and their local popularity (the number of neighbors who have adopted them) subject to some random error. We characterize the long-run dynamics of such processes in terms of the geometry of the network, but without placing a priori restrictions on the network structure. When agents interact in sufficiently small, close-knit groups, the expected waiting time until almost everyone is playing the stochastically stable equilibrium is bounded above independently of the number of agents and independently of the initial state.