The spatial economy of social networks

Social networks are important for individual, firm, and regional economic performance. They serve as a venue for transmission of information and knowledge that is helpful for human economic activity. Yet, most of our knowledge about networks’ impact on the economy comes from small sample and case studies, or from studies where networks structure is only roughly operationalized.

Social networks are important for individual, firm, and regional economic performance. They serve as a venue for transmission of information and knowledge that is helpful for human economic activity. They also act conduit for information on job vacancies, as well as an incentive for job-to-job mobility. Therefore, their role has been studied and emphasized in various fields. Yet, most of our knowledge about networks’ impact on the economy comes from small sample and case studies, or from studies where networks structure is only roughly operationalized.

The aim of this project is to address how complex social networks of an entire country influence the economic performance of individuals, firms, industries, and regions. With auxiliary sociometric survey data, we will be able to estimate models of network tie creation that will allow us to simulate an empirically calibrated social network for the entire economy. Having such network representation, in combination with all the detailed information from Swedish register data, will allow us to answer key questions about how social ties impact economic performance: What is the impact of networks in labour flows and regional agglomeration? What is the impact of networks on economic performance? Our project will thus enhance our understanding the key factors leading to differences in regional economic growth. It will also provide the first country-wide set of representative workplace network data, opening the doors for further empirical contributions to the study of social and economical networks.

Read the Project Description

Title of Project

The spatial economy of social networks

Project Period

01/01/2017 - 12/31/2019

Subject areas

Human geography, Economic geography

Head of research

Rikard Eriksson, Department of Social and Economic Geography


Page Editor: Eva Stoianov

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