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An important aspect of social life is the way valued resources are allocated and exchanged among people and groups. Network Exchange Theory (NET) investigates phenomena of this type. It was formulated as a way to understand and predict how a network's shape affects the power of some members to accumulate resources at the expense of others. NET is constructed as a formal theory in that all its most important terms are clearly defined, all its central claims are expressed in the form of explicit axioms, and it employs a system of logic that permits anyone—or even a computer program—to derive its predictions.

To date, most of the research inspired by NET has been in the form of careful experimental tests conducted under controlled laboratory conditions. Nevertheless, ...

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