In 1973, the sociologist Mark Granovetter pioneered an understanding of how the market and commercial society operates. The textbook neoclassical model of atomistic markets did not capture the reality of the social relationships that enable commercial society to function, and for individuals within that setting to achieve their goals --- from finding a job to starting a business. Granovetter titled his idea "The Strength of Weak Ties" and built his idea not on the basis of neoclassical economics but on social network analysis.
A new article in Science raises the link between these social networks and generalized prosperity. The greater diversity of social connections available, the greater the prosperity of the city or region under examination. What do you think the implications of such a finding are for our understanding of the market economy and commercial society? How do you think this finding compares to Mises's discussion of Ricardo's Law of Association? How about to Adam Smith's and F. A. Hayek's discussion of the cooperation of strangers evidenced in the complex coordination of the division of labor required to produce the common woolen coat in Smith's time or a #2 pencil in Hayek/Friedman's time? What do you see as the intellectual link between classical and new institutional (including market process) analysis of the market economy, and the sociological and social network analysis of the market economy?
HT: Karol Boudreaux