The Network Economy
This Program for Economic Research (PER)’s Spring Mini Course will be held in two parts.
Part I: Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 2:15PM-4:15PM (East Gallery, Columbia Maison Française) (get directions)
Part II: Friday, March 13, 2020, 10:00AM-12::00PM (East Gallery, Columbia Maison Française) (get directions)
*Open to current Columbia University students only
Sanjeev Goyal, Professor of Economics, University of Cambridge
Our life takes place at the intersection of the global and the local: we function in a world dominated by large firms and big governments, but we also inhabit neighborhoods of friends and family, colleagues and collaborators. Game theory is well suited for the study of behavior in small exclusive groups while general equilibrium theory provides a sophisticated approach to the understanding of large anonymous systems. Networks offer a framework that combines local interactions within large interconnected populations. They therefore fill an important gap in the toolkit of economists.
The key methodological innovation of the early research on networks was the introduction of graph theory alongside purposeful agents. Building on this work, over the past two decades, economists have developed models that include networks, alongside the familiar notions of strategy, information, prices and competition. As a result, networks have now become central to improving our understanding of macro-economic volatility and cycles, patterns of international trade, contagion and risk in financial and social systems, resilience of infrastructure and supply chains, economic development, unemployment and inequality, and a host of other important phenomena.
This course introduces new ideas relating to the structure and the performance of networks, and then discuss Professor Goyal’s recent research.