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The architecture of globalization: a network approach to international economic integration


Author Info

  • Raja Kali

    (Department of Economics, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA)

  • Javier Reyes

    (Department of Economics, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA)


We combine data on international trade linkages with network methods to examine the global trading system as an interdependent complex network. We map the topology of the international trade network, and suggest new network-based measures of international economic integration, at both a global system-wide level and a local country level. We develop network-based measures that incorporate not only the volume of trade but also the influence that a country has on the international trading system. These measures incorporate the structure and function of the network, and may provide a more meaningful approach to globalization than current measures based on trade volumes. We find that, in terms of participation and influence in the network, global trade is hierarchical, with a core–periphery structure at higher levels of trade, though integration of smaller countries into the network increased considerably over the 1990s. The network is strongly ‘balkanized’ according to geography of trading partners, but not as strongly by income or legal origin. Using these new measures we find that a country's position in the network has substantial implications for economic growth. We therefore suggest that a network approach to international economic integration has potential for useful applications in international business, finance and development. Journal of International Business Studies (2007) 38, 595–620. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400286

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Journal of International Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 38 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 595-620

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Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:38:y:2007:i:4:p:595-620

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Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK

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