COMP_SCI 396: The Economics of Networks

Quarter Offered

Spring : 2-3:20 TuTh ; Golub


CS 212 or Graduate student by permission


Social and economic networks are an essential part of the fabric of modern life. Some examples: the complex trading networks that underlie modern financial markets and supply chains; social media platforms; networks of personal connections that help peoplefind jobs. These networks profoundly affect the economy and society more broadly: for instance, financial interdependencies are critical in economic crises, while rumors on Twitter have come to play a central role in our politics. How can we make sense ofthese phenomenaas individuals, within companies, and as policymakers? This courseteaches models from the economics and statistics of networks that are essential to the task. Topics include the diffusion of information and rumors, racial segregation, andthe network origins of recessions. We emphasize how network models relate to key ideas from microeconomics.

  • Cross-listed with ECON 352


  • Required
    • [EK] David Easley and Jon Kleinberg, Networks, Crowds and Markets, Cambridge University Press, 2010.  There is a full-text version available online.
    • [J-HN] Matthew O. Jackson, The Human Network, Pantheon, 2019.
  • Recommended
    • [J-SEN] Matthew O. Jackson Social and Economic Networks. Princeton University Press, 2008.
In addition, course material will include readings from the media, primary research literature, and readings from other books.

COURSE INSTRUCTOR : Prof. Benjamin Golub (Spring)


PREREQUISITES: CS 212 or Graduate student by permission