Markets, Hierarchies, and Networks: An Agent-Based Organizational Ecology

Authors


Danielle F. Jung is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr. #0521, La Jolla, CA 92093–0521 (dfjung@ucsd.edu). David A. Lake is the Jerri-Ann and Gary E. Jacobs Professor of Social Sciences and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr. #0521, La Jolla, CA 92093–0521 (dlake@ucsd.edu). Jung and Lake participated equally developing the architecture of the model and writing this article; Jung was entirely responsible for implementing the model and the simulations reported here. We are grateful for the programming assistance of Daniel Han and Robert Chen and helpful comments from Robert Axelrod, James Fowler, Peter Gourevitch, Emilie Hafner-Burton, Robert Keohane, Dylan Lake, Woody Powell, David Ronfeldt, Nick Weller, Wendy Wong, David Zaring, and two anonymous reviewers. This research was funded by the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CalIT2) at the University of California, San Diego. Lake also gratefully acknowledges the support of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Abstract

Markets, hierarchies, and networks are widely understood to be the three primary forms of social organization. In this article, we study the choice between these forms in a general, agent-based model (ABM) of cooperation. The organizational ecology is the product, an emergent property, of the set of choices made by agents contingent on their individual attributes and beliefs about the population of agents. This is one of the first attempts to theorize explicitly the choice between different organizational forms, especially networks and hierarchies, and certainly the first to do so in an ABM. The insights of the model are applied to current research on transnational networks, social capital, and the sources of hierarchy and especially autocracy.

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