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Increasing Access to Information Resources

With the emergence of the Internet, geographically separated populations have gained the ability to communicate and to coordinate their activities in ways that were once too difficult to manage over large distances. In particular, people can reach new information resources and share information among their network of associates in an attempt to improve their collective resource base. We say that individuals now have greater access to other individuals and sources of information. Before advanced information technologies, retrieving information might have required face-to-face communication or the use of sluggish low bandwidth telecommunications (or very expensive high bandwidth communications). This tutorial illustrates what happens as agents attempt to improve their information resources by networking with each other under a variety of conditions of access. Our main implication will be one of "Cyber-Stratification" -- increasing access and decreasing search costs enable elites to cooperate to the exclusion of others when geography might have limited their interaction beforehand.

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