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The authors develop a theoretical framework that allows them to study which bilateral links and coalition structures are going to emerge at equilibrium. They define the notion of coalitional network to represent a network and a coalition structure, where the network specifies the nature of the relationship each individual has with his coalition members and with individuals outside his coalition. To predict the coalitional networks that are going to emerge at equilibrium they propose the concept of contractual stability which requires that any change made to the coalitional network needs the consent of both the deviating players and their original coalition partners.
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