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, 109).


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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)
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Keywords: majority rules, public opinion, contagion, co-existence, clustering, local interaction
ePrint ID: 32960
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Date Deposited: 18 May 2006
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 22:18
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