IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Comparison of the Director Networks in the Main Companies Listed in Italy, France and the United Kingdom


  • Paolo Santella
  • Carlo Drago
  • Andrea Polo
  • Enrico Gagliardi


The purpose of the present paper is to contribute to the empirical literature on country interlocks by illustrating and analysing the interlocking directorships in the first 40 Italian, French and British Blue Chips as of December 2007 (Italy)/March 2008 (France and UK). The theoretical literature identify two possible explanations for interlocking directorships, on the one hand the collusion among players in the same market or in general among enterprises that have business relations among themselves; on the other hand the interest for enterprises to have on their boards bankers, suppliers, and clients so as to reduce information asymmetries. Our findings show two different national models, the French-Italian one and the British one. The first model seems to be characterised by a higher number of companies linked with each other through interlocking directorships; the second model by a more limited number of companies that share just one director at the time. The British system seems to correspond more to the theoretic model of relying creditor and debtors and suppliers and their clients rather than to the collusive model. As for France and Italy, the extent and the redundancy of links among the main listed companies seem to go beyond the need to rely debtors and creditors and suppliers and clients: because of the number of directors in common, their personal profile, the characteristics of the companies connected to each other, the higher degree of centralization of the network than the United Kingdom. While the Italian-French system seems to be closer to the collusive function indicated by the theoretic literature, the observation that it also connects companies which do not seem to operate in the same market seems to point also towards a comparison with centralised economic models.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Santella & Carlo Drago & Andrea Polo & Enrico Gagliardi, 2008. "A Comparison of the Director Networks in the Main Companies Listed in Italy, France and the United Kingdom," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 271-288.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:j0hje1:doi:10.1430/27265:y:2008:i:2:p:271-288

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Drago & Francesco Millo & Roberto Ricciuti & Paolo Santella, 2011. "Corporate Governance Reforms, Interlocking Directorship Networks and Company Value in Italy (1998-2007)," CESifo Working Paper Series 3322, CESifo.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mul:j0hje1:doi:10.1430/27265:y:2008:i:2:p:271-288. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.