Targeting Interventions in Networks

48 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2017 Last revised: 6 Jul 2021

See all articles by Andrea Galeotti

Andrea Galeotti

University of Essex

Benjamin Golub

Northwestern University

Sanjeev Goyal

University of Cambridge

Date Written: November 12, 2019


We study games in which a network mediates strategic spillovers and externalities among the players. How does a planner optimally target interventions that change individuals' private returns to investment? We analyze this question by decomposing any intervention into orthogonal principal components, which are determined by the network and are ordered according to their associated eigenvalues. There is a close connection between the nature of spillovers and the representation of various principal components in the optimal intervention. In games of strategic complements (substitutes), interventions place more weight on the top (bottom) principal components, which reflect more global (local) network structure. For large budgets, optimal interventions are simple—they essentially involve only a single principal component.

Note: (First version: October 17, 2017.)

Suggested Citation

Galeotti, Andrea and Golub, Benjamin and Goyal, Sanjeev, Targeting Interventions in Networks (November 12, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Andrea Galeotti

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Benjamin Golub (Contact Author)

Northwestern University ( email )

Evanston, IL 60201
United States

Sanjeev Goyal

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

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