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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the literature on key players in networks. The text first introduces the theoretical concept of the key player, who is the agent that should be targeted by the planner so that, once removed, she will generate the highest level of reduction in total activity. The chapter also considers another notion of key players where the planner is targeting a set of network nodes that are optimally positioned to quickly diffuse information, attitudes, behaviors, or goods. Then, the chapter examines the empirical tests of the key-player policies for criminal networks, education, R and D networks, financial networks, and diffusion of microfinance. The chapter shows that implementing such a policy outperforms other standard policies such as targeting the most active agents in a network.

Keywords: key players, Katz-Bonacich centrality, crime policies, diffusion

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