Working Paper

Network Data


Bryan S. Graham

Published Date

16 December 2019


Working Paper (CWP71/19)

Many economic activities are embedded in networks: sets of agents and the (often) rivalrous relationships connecting them to one another. Input sourcing by firms, interbank lending, scientific research, and job search are four examples, among many, of networked economic activities. Motivated by the premise that networks’ structures are consequential, this chapter describes econometric methods for analyzing them. I emphasize (i) dyadic regression analysis incorporating unobserved agent-specific heterogeneity and supporting causal inference, (ii) techniques for estimating, and conducting inference on, summary network parameters (e.g., the degree distribution or transitivity index); and (iii) empirical models of strategic network formation admitting interdependencies in preferences. Current research challenges and open questions are also discussed.