Students Staff

26 October 2011

Social networking study wins €1 million grant

Professor Andrea Galeotti, from the Department of Economics, has won a €1 million grant to study the economics of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The funding from the European Research Council will help Professor Galeotti develop a theory which could help both companies and governments.

Using mathematical modelling, he will map how social networks evolve and how they influence social and economic interaction. He hopes governments may be able to use the results in order to influence behaviour – for example, by making more effective use of health education messages.

It should also help companies to understand how social networks influence spending decisions, and how different products tend to be discussed in these settings.

Professor Galeotti said: “New data, along with advances in the internet, allow us to map and understand these networks. In particular, my project will focus on explaining how informal organisations, such as social networks, interact with formal institutions such as markets or internal organisations. At the base of any market economy is trust, and social networks are fundamental to building this trust.”

The study will also look at the design of effective communication networks within organisations, in order to optimise the co-ordination of different tasks in a changing environment, and to ease the communication difficulties which can be caused by conflicting interests within organisations.

Notes to editors

For more information please contact Fran Abrams, Communications Officer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, by e-mail or telephone 01206 873684.

...more news releases