Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

No 2014:4: Local and Consistent Centrality Measures in Networks

Yves Zenou () and Vianney Dequiedt ()
Additional contact information
Yves Zenou: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Vianney Dequiedt: Université d’Auvergne, Postal: CERDI, Université d’Auvergne, France.

Abstract: The centrality of an agent in a network has been shown to be crucial in explaining different behaviors and outcomes. In this paper, we propose an axiomatic approach to characterize a class of centrality measures for which the centrality of an agent is recursively related to the centralities of the agents she is connected to. This includes the Katz-Bonacich and the eigenvector centrality. The core of our argument hinges on the power of the consistency axiom, which relates the properties of the measure for a given network to its properties for a reduced problem. In our case, the reduced problem only keeps track of local and parsimonious information. Our axiomatic characterization highlights the conceptual similarities among this class of measures.

Keywords: Consistency; centrality measures; networks; axiomatic approach

JEL-codes: C70; D85

25 pages, May 21, 2014

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