The dynamics of public opinion under majority rules

Ianni, A. and Corradi, V. (2001) The dynamics of public opinion under majority rules. Southampton, GB, University of Southampton, 27pp. (Discussion Papers in Economics and Econometrics, 0109).


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This note explains the process of public opinion formation via a locally interactive, space-time analysis. The model we use is a special case of the general framework for modelling social interaction proposed in Blume and Durlauf (2001). In the reduced form of the model we study how each individual, when faced with the choice of one, out of two, opinions, tends to conform to the opinion held by the majority of her neighbours. We consider different, symmetric and asymmetric, majority rules. Depending on the specific behavioral rule, the aggregate process of opinion formation may display contagion on one specific opinion, or consensus among all individuals in the population, or co-existence of both opinions. Whenever consensus obtains, we observe the formation of homogeneous areas (clusters) that seem almost stationary along the dynamics.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
Keywords: majority rules, public opinion, contagion, co-existence, clustering, local interaction
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Economics
ePrint ID: 32960
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 18 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:59

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