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Network formation and efficiency in linear-quadratic games: An experimental study

1 February 2023
2:00 pm
San Francesco Complex - classroom 2

We experimentally study effort provision and network formation in the linear-quadratic game characterized by positive externality and complementarity of effort choices among network neighbors. We compare experimental outcomes to the equilibrium and efficient allocations and study the impact of group size and linking costs. We find that individuals overprovide effort relative to the equilibrium level on the network they form. However, their payoffs are lower than the equilibrium payoffs because they create fewer links than it is optimal which limits the beneficial spillovers of effort provision. Reducing the linking costs does not significantly increase the connectedness of the network and the welfare loss is higher in larger groups. Individual characteristics, such as gender and cognitive-reflection test results, can explain individual differences in link formation.


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Gergely Horvath, Duke Kunshan University