Matthew O. Jackson


The Human Network:
How Your Social Position Determines
Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviors

This event includes a book signing


April 12, 2019
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes Stanford economics professor MATTHEW O. JACKSON for a discussion of his new book, The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviors.

About The Human Network

Inequality, social immobility, and political polarization are only a few crucial phenomena driven by the inevitability of social structures. Social structures determine who has power and influence, account for why people fail to assimilate basic facts, and enlarge our understanding of patterns of contagion—from the spread of disease to financial crises. Despite their primary role in shaping our lives, human networks are often overlooked when we try to account for our most important political and economic practices. Matthew O. Jackson brilliantly illuminates the complexity of the social networks in which we are—often unwittingly—positioned and aims to facilitate a deeper appreciation of why we are who we are.

Ranging across disciplines—psychology, behavioral economics, sociology, and business—and rich with historical analogies and anecdotes, The Human Network provides a galvanizing account of what can drive success or failure in life.


“Networks show up as powerful forces in virtually every social science. The same phenomena appear in different disguises in different disciplines, but few scholars have the intellectual breadth to recognize these common behavior patterns, and fewer still have the ability to communicate effectively with a broad and diverse audience. Matt Jackson is one such person, and his book is a welcome introduction to this fascinating subject.” —Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google
“Much of what we do, and even quite a bit of what we think, is shaped by our friends, neighbors, coworkers and increasingly our social media connections. This thought-provoking book explains how and why human networks matter so much, and why they can be a source of strength and fragility. A must-read.” —Daron Acemoglu, Professor of Economics, MIT, and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Why Nations Fail

“Spanning a rich array of topics, including the spread of epidemics and financial crises, political polarization, and economic inequality, The Human Network is a highly readable yet deeply informed survey of social life viewed through the lens of networks. Matt Jackson proves that he is not only one of the world’s leading theorists of network science; he is also one of its best expositors.” —Duncan Watts, principal researcher at Microsoft and author of Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age

Matthew O. Jackson
Matthew O. Jackson

Matthew O. Jackson

Matthew O. Jackson is a chaired professor of economics at Stanford University, an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute, and a senior fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. For more than 25 years, he has been researching social and economic networks. He published a leading graduate-level text on the subject: Social and Economic Networks. Jackson is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has reached more than a million students via his popular online courses (MOOCs) on social and economic networks and game theory.

Photo Credit: Sarah Jackson

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

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