Votes, favors, toys, and ideas: The effect of resource characteristics on power in exchange networks

David R. Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


The goal of this research is to understand how resource characteristics influence the development of power in exchange networks. Transferability and duplicability are identified as fundamental resource characteristics that have not been examined systematically in prior social exchange research. Varying resource transferability and duplicability alters the mechanisms that produce power and determine which positions in a network have a power advantage. To predict where power will develop, I rely on existing measures for previously studied resources and introduce relevant principles of network structure for resources that have not been studied before. This theoretical logic is supported by a series of simulated exchange networks that apply behavioral principles observed in prior experimental research to the exchange of a broader variety of resources than previously considered. Results indicate how the pattern of power use in a network is contingent upon the type of resource being exchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-160
Number of pages23
JournalSociological Focus
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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