September 15, 2008

Discovery and Social Learning in Non-Priced Environments

An Austrian View of Social Network Theory
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This article engages in a cross-disciplinary discussion between Austrian economics and social network theory. In particular, it asks what role social networks play in the extended order in regard to both individual discovery and whether social networks can be the source of widespread unintended cooperation among individuals unknown to one another. Although Austrians have examined the function that market prices play in generating social cooperation, such discussions tend to steer clear of non-priced environments, such as interaction within social networks.  While the authors acknowledge that non-price information feedback mechanisms such as status and reputation lack the calculability so crucial to market coordination, they argue that they can nonetheless mimic other important qualities of market prices and generate widespread unintended social cooperation among people unknown to one another. After a general discussion, these ideas are applied to online philanthropic communities.

Read the article at SpringerLink.

Citation (Chicago Style): Chamlee-Wrigth, Emily and Justus A. Myers. "Discovery and Social Learning in Non-Priced Environments: An Austrian View of Social Network Theory." Review of Austrian Economics 21, nos. 2-3 (2008): 151-166.