33 Pages Posted: 22 May 2019 Last revised: 6 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 26, 2020
Firms and politicians, among others, invest heavily to influence people's opinions. Because peers influence one another, these efforts must account for social networks. Using a model of opinion dynamics with a non-degenerate steady state, I develop a new measure of influence, and I highlight how opinion fluctuations impact influence campaigns. If agents interact less frequently with those holding different opinions, the variance of public opinion decreases. Consequently, a risk-averse planner focuses on persuading a large majority of agents in a small set of tightly knit groups, while a risk-loving planner makes much broader appeals.
Keywords: Networks, Influence Campaigns, Voter Model, Stochastic Block Model
JEL Classification: D85
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation