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Theses Doctoral

The "Social" in Social Science: The Implications of Social Networks Theory for Political Economy and Political Methodology

Sircar, Neelanjan

This dissertation focuses on the consequences of considering social networks in standard frameworks in political economy and political methodology. The first paper introduces a game theoretic model where an allocator may distribute benefits over a social network, but the units in the network may extract rents from the allocator. This amendment to a classic allocation game generates unique predictions. Units can use their social position to extract rents and corruption persists in equilibrium. This has major implications for the provision of local public goods. The second paper derives a general statistical framework for causal identification in randomized experiments in the presence of spillovers. The paper addresses a major question in the analysis of randomized experiments and develops a framework that can be readily applied by practitioners. The third paper analyzes the impact of kinship networks on political preference formation in rural India. It is shown that kinship networks help to pool information, generate political discussion and provide explicit coordination of political behavior. This provides an account of how social structure functions in democratic developing country contexts.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science
Thesis Advisors
Humphreys, Macartan
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 13, 2014
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