Social phase transitions Levy, Moshe

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Levy, Moshe
Appears In
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Social systems -- Analysis; Economics; Business
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: Byline: Moshe Levy Abstract: In many social systems a small event (or parameter change) can trigger a dramatic transition. We show that social systems whose individuals have an inclination to conform to each other may undergo "phase transitions" very similar to statistical mechanic systems. We develop a general criterion that determines whether a given social system is susceptible to undergo a phase transition and show that phase transitions may occur in a wide range of social systems. The heterogeneity of the agents comprising the system is shown to play a crucial role in determining both the possibility of a transition and its magnitude. Author Affiliation: School of Business Administration, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
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