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Working Paper

Making Friends Meet: Network Formation with Introductions

This paper proposes a parsimonious model of network formation with introductions in the presence of intermediation rents. Introductions allow two nodes to form a new connection on favorable terms with the help of a common neighbor. The decision to form links via introductions is subject to a trade-off between the gains from having a direct connection at lower cost and the potential losses for the introducer from lower intermediation rents. When nodes take advantage of introductions, stable networks tend to exhibit a minimum amount of clustering. At the same time, intermediary nodes have incentives to protect their position, and stable networks can exhibit nodes exploiting structural holes, that is, bridges across otherwise unconnected parts of the network earning intermediation rents.

This preprint has not undergone peer review or any post‐submission improvements or corrections. The Version of Record of this article is published in International Journal of Game Theory, and is available online at

Working Papers of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment on research in progress. They may not have been subject to the formal editorial review accorded official Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland publications. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Federal Reserve System.

Suggested Citation

Siedlarek, Jan-Peter. 2022. “Making Friends Meet: Network Formation with Introductions.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 20-01R2.