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This paper sheds light on the general mechanisms underlying large-scale social and institutional change. We employ an agent-based model to test the impact of authority centralization and social network technology on preference falsification and institutional change. We find that preference falsification is increasing with centralization and decreasing with social network range. This leads to greater cascades of preference revelation and thus more institutional change in highly centralized societies and this effect is exacerbated at greater social network ranges. An empirical analysis confirms the connections that we find between institutional centralization, social radius, preference falsification, and institutional change.


This article was originally published in PLoS ONE, volume 8, issue 11, in 2013. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080380

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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