Social Networks on the Web

Sanjeev Goyal

in The Oxford Handbook of the Digital Economy

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195397840
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Social Networks on the Web

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  • Economics
  • Economic Development and Growth



This article describes the significance of the theory of the social network for the understanding of certain features of the digital economy, in particular, the functioning of social networking sites such as Facebook. Online social networks perform a variety of functions and many of them have a very large number of registered users. They have close ties with offline economic activity and social relations. Social sites enhance awareness of social networks and by doing so assist the maintenance of profitable old ties and the creation of new potentially attractive ones. The article highlights the potential of using rich data sets from online social networks (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) for understanding fundamental questions about the relation between social structure, economic opportunities, and individual behavior. Online social networks make it possible to collect longitudinal data on evolving social networks, as well as on individual behavior.

Keywords: online social network; digital economy; Facebook; LinkedIn; social sites; social structure; economic opportunities; individual behavior

Article.  12627 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Economic Development and Growth

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