We study how long-lived, rational agents learn in a social network. In every period, after observing the past actions of his neighbors, each agent receives a private signal, and chooses an action whose payoff depends only on the state. Since equilibrium actions depend on higher-order beliefs, it is difficult to characterize behavior. Nevertheless, we show that regardless of the size and shape of the network, the utility function, and the patience of the agents, the speed of learning in any equilibrium is bounded from above by a constant that only depends on the private signal distribution.
We develop an axiomatic theory of information acquisition that captures the idea of constant marginal costs in information production: the cost of generating two independent signals is the sum of their costs, and generating a signal with probability half costs half its original cost. Together with Blackwell monotonicity and a continuity condition, these axioms determine the cost of a signal up to a vector of parameters. These parameters have a clear economic interpretation and determine the difficulty of distinguishing states.