Review of Economic Design

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 257–277

The dynamics of public opinion under majority rules

  • Antonella Ianni
  • Valentina Corradi
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s100580200079

Cite this article as:
Ianni, A. & Corradi, V. Rev Econ Design (2002) 7: 257. doi:10.1007/s100580200079


This note explains the process of public opinion formation via a locally interactive, space-time analysis. The model we use is a special case of the general framework for modelling social interaction proposed in Blume and Durlauf (2001). In the reduced form of the model we study how each individual, when faced with the choice of one, out of two, opinions, tends to conform to the opinion held by the majority of her neighbours. We consider different, symmetric and asymmetric, majority rules. Depending on the specific behavioral rule, the aggregate process of opinion formation may display contagion on one specific opinion, or consensus among all individuals in the population, or co-existence of both opinions. Whenever consensus obtains, we observe the formation of homogeneous areas ( clusters) that seem almost stationary along the dynamics.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Ianni
    • 1
  • Valentina Corradi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economics, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK (e-mail: GB
  2. 2.School of Business and Economics, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4PU, UK (e-mail: GB

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