Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Frederic S. Lee and Bruce Cronin
Chapter 12: Social network analysis
Social network analysis comprises a powerful set of techniques for quantifying, differentiating, and interpreting social interactions or relational data in general. This provides a means of interrogating assumptions of independent yet homogeneous actions and pay-offs in economic processes, a particular interest of heterodox approaches to economics. Contemporary applications include modelling opinion leadership among consumers, search and matching in labour markets, collaboration in research and development, patterns of innovation diffusion among firms, and global commodity chains. This chapter introduces the central concepts and methods of social network analysis, including data collection and interpretation considerations and a brief discussion of specialized software in the field. Each is illustrated with an economic application, either a heterodox example or with a discussion of its heterodox implications.
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