Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2013:11: Social Influence and the Matthew Mechanism: The Case of an Artificial Cultural Market

Miia Bask () and Mikael Bask ()
Additional contact information
Miia Bask: Department of Sociology, Postal: University of Bergen, P.O. Box 7802, NO-5020 Bergen, Norway
Mikael Bask: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: We show that the Matthew effect, or Matthew mechanism, was present in the artificial cultural market Music Lab when social influence between individuals was allowed, whereas this was not the case when social influence was not allowed. We also sketch on a class of social network models, derived from social influence theory, that may gener-ate the Matthew effect. Thus, we propose a theoretical framework that may explain why the most popular songs were much more popular, and the least popular songs were much less popular, than when disallowing social influence between individuals.

Keywords: Matthew effect; Music Lab; social influence; social network

JEL-codes: C31; C65; Z19

17 pages, June 26, 2013

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