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Why do Information Cascades Occur?

Who doesn’t want to be healthy? Many people invest massive amounts of money to provide themselves with the optimal life that they can possibly live. However, a great percentage of these people is certainly not educated enough regarding the subject to make sound health decisions. Therefore, they turn to “experts” and the masses to influence […]

A look at the Entrepreneur-Venture Capitalist Relationship and the Prisoner’s Dilemma

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I have always found the relationship between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to be very unique and unlike any other co-dependent network. The rise of prolific ventures across the United States often underscores the failure rate that occurs with startups, which often starts with the crumbling relationship between these entities. This phenomenon […]

To Share or Not to Share? An Analysis of Networks and Information Cascade in “#TheDress” and Other Viral Phenomena

What color is the dress? Black and blue? White and gold? A simple question regarding a photo of a dress spread across the world quite literally overnight. A divisive debate split the world regarding the real color of a dress that could be seen as one color by half of the population, and another by […]

The Seattle Housing Market and the Middle Class

Housing markets are quintessential allocation problems. In reality, many factors complicate their optimization, but their associated network models can reveal a lot about them, especially when something strange happens. Gene Balk of the Seattle Times recently published an eye-opening article concerning the housing market of King County in Washington state, which includes Seattle, as well […]

Japan’s Economic Bubble

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/business/yourmoney/25japan.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Japan experienced an economic bubble from 1986-1991, during which the Japanese Yen inflated rapidly. Homes were hastily bought for exorbitant prices because buyers feared prices would keep rising. At the same time, homes were bought for exorbitant prices because buyers expected the prices to keep rising, thereby justifying the purchase. After Black Monday, […]

Depreciating assets: A hopeless race to the bottom

Ever noticed how driving a car off the lot – effectively zero miles on the clock – will make a car’s price go down by ten to twenty percent instantly? Why is it that when something is passed around, nobody wants it? Exclusivity cannot be a factor – all depreciating objects are private goods – […]

Subjectivity of Pareto Efficiency

In Networks II, we studied the concept of Pareto efficiency and how it is one of the most important evaluation criteria of a “good” matching and/or mechanism in matching markets. In the one-sided matching market model from class, we are given a set of agents and objects, as well as the agents’ preferences over the […]

Facebook and the Strength in Strong Ties

The idea of the “strength in weak ties” and its application in finding jobs has been discussed ever since the publication Mark Granovetter’s research thesis suggesting that one is more likely to hear about job openings through acquaintances, those with whom they share a weak tie in their social network, rather than through close friends, […]

Friendsy, the New Social Network, or Tinder

Friendsy, a new Princetown University-founded social network application, aims to connect students across the United States with each other. Unlike Facebook, however, Friendsy aims to connect students who do not know each other but are instead interesting in creating a friendship. In a culture where friendship circles form fast, and tend to stay fairly static, […]

Mechanism for Matching Financial Aid to Students

There is a common matching market model known as the “College Admissions Problem” that describes the many-to-one matching in two sided markets such as the college admissions process. The model allows colleges to rank students, and students to rank colleges, and produces a matching of students to colleges and colleges to students based on the […]

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