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Small worlds evolving: governance reforms, privatizations, and ownership networks in Italy


  • Raffaele Corrado
  • Maurizio Zollo


How do ownership networks among business enterprises evolve over time? What roles do corporate governance reforms and privatization programs play in shaping the structural characteristics of these networks? This article addresses these questions by leveraging on small-world analysis techniques applied to the ownership networks among Italian enterprises in 1990 and 2000. Italy underwent a significant program of privatizations over the decade under study, coupled with changes in the corporate law aimed at strengthening the defense of minority shareholders. The data show signs of significant fragmentation of the overall network, but at the same time of stability in the structure of its main component, as measured by small-world coefficients. Further, the role of the key players in the network seems to remain relatively stable despite the major turbulence at the institutional level as well as in the structural characteristics of the complete network. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Raffaele Corrado & Maurizio Zollo, 2006. "Small worlds evolving: governance reforms, privatizations, and ownership networks in Italy," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 319-352, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:15:y:2006:i:2:p:319-352

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    Cited by:

    1. Piccardi, Carlo & Calatroni, Lisa & Bertoni, Fabio, 2010. "Communities in Italian corporate networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(22), pages 5247-5258.
    2. Nicolò Pecora & Alessandro Spelta, 2014. "Shareholding Network in the Euro Area Banking Market," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def014, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    3. Brancaccio, Emiliano & Giammetti, Raffaele & Lopreite, Milena & Puliga, Michelangelo, 2019. "Monetary policy, crisis and capital centralization in corporate ownership and control networks: A B-Var analysis," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 55-66.
    4. Drago, Carlo & Millo, Francesco & Ricciuti, Roberto & Santella, Paolo, 2015. "Corporate governance reforms, interlocking directorship and company performance in Italy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 38-49.
    5. Stefania Vitali & Stefano Battiston, 2014. "The Community Structure of the Global Corporate Network," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(8), pages 1-13, August.
    6. Joana Almodovar & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2014. "Assessing the Importance of Local Supporting Organizations in the Automotive Industry: A Hybrid Dynamic Framework of Innovation Networks," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 841-865, April.
    7. An Zeng & Stefano Battiston, 2016. "The Multiplex Network of EU Lobby Organizations," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(10), pages 1-15, October.
    8. Li, Bing & Li, Changhong & Wang, Li, 2019. "Does the shareholding network affect bank's risk-taking behavior? An exploratory study on Chinese commercial banks," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 31(C).
    9. Leonardo Bargigli & Renato Giannetti, 2015. "The Italian Corporate System: SOEs, Private Firms and Institutions in a Network Perspective (1952-1983)," Working Papers - Economics wp2015_01.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    10. Lucia Bellenzier & Rosanna Grassi, 2014. "Interlocking directorates in Italy: persistent links in network dynamics," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 9(2), pages 183-202, October.
    11. Ferrary, Michel, 2019. "The structure and dynamics of the CEO's “small world” of stakeholders. An application to industrial downsizing," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 147-159.
    12. repec:ctc:serie1:def14 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Drago, Carlo & Ricciuti, Roberto, 2017. "Communities detection as a tool to assess a reform of the Italian interlocking directorship network," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 466(C), pages 91-104.
    14. Melissa A. Schilling, 2015. "Technology Shocks, Technological Collaboration, and Innovation Outcomes," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 668-686, June.
    15. Brancaccio, Emiliano & Giammetti, Raffaele & Lopreite, Milena & Puliga, Michelangelo, 2018. "Centralization of capital and financial crisis: A global network analysis of corporate control," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 94-104.
    16. Carlo Drago & Roberto Ricciuti & Paolo Santella, 2015. "An Attempt to Disperse the Italian Interlocking Directorship Network: Analyzing the Effects of the 2011 Reform," Working Papers 11/2015, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    17. Pecora, Nicolò & Spelta, Alessandro, 2015. "Shareholding relationships in the Euro Area banking market: A network perspective," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 434(C), pages 1-12.
    18. Polovnikov, Kirill & Kazakov, Vlad & Syntulsky, Sergey, 2020. "Core–periphery organization of the cryptocurrency market inferred by the modularity operator," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 540(C).
    19. María Inés Barbero & Andrea Lluch & Andrea Lluch & Erica Salvaj & María Inés Barbero, 2014. "Corporate Networks and Business Groups in Argentina in the Early 1970s," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 54(2), pages 183-208, July.

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