Table of Contents

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Frederic S. Lee and Bruce Cronin

Despite the important critiques of the mainstream offered by heterodox economics, the dominant method remains econometrics. This major new Handbook provides an invaluable introduction to a range of alternative research methods better suited for analysing the social data prominent in heterodox research projects, including survey, historical, ethnographic, experimental, and mixed approaches, together with factor, cluster, complex, and social network analytics. Introductions to each method are complemented by descriptions of applications in practice.

Chapter 12: Social network analysis

Bruce Cronin

Subjects: economics and finance, history of economic thought, methodology of economics, post-keynesian economics, radical and feminist economics, research methods, research methods in economics


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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