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Structure of global buyer-supplier networks and its implications for conflict minerals regulations

Author

Listed:
  • Takayuki Mizuno

    (National Institute of Informatics)

  • Takaaki Ohnishi

    (The University of Tokyo)

  • Tsutomu Watanabe

    (The University of Tokyo)

Abstract

We investigate the structure of global inter-firm linkages using a dataset that contains information on business partners for about 400,000 firms worldwide, including all the firms listed on the major stock exchanges. Among the firms, we examine three networks, which are based on customer-supplier, licensee-licensor, and strategic alliance relationships. First, we show that these networks all have scale-free topology and that the degree distribution for each follows a power law with an exponent of 1.5. The shortest path length is around six for all three networks. Second, we show through community structure analysis that the firms comprise a community with those firms that belong to the same industry but different home countries, indicating the globalization of firms' production activities. Finally, we discuss what such production globalization implies for the proliferation of conflict minerals (i.e., minerals extracted from conflict zones and sold to firms in other countries to perpetuate fighting) through global buyer-supplier linkages. We show that a limited number of firms belonging to some specific industries and countries plays an important role in the global proliferation of conflict minerals. Our numerical simulation shows that regulations on the purchases of conflict minerals by those firms would substantially reduce their worldwide use.

Suggested Citation

  • Takayuki Mizuno & Takaaki Ohnishi & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2015. "Structure of global buyer-supplier networks and its implications for conflict minerals regulations," CARF F-Series CARF-F-362, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:cfi:fseres:cf362
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    File URL: https://www.carf.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/old/pdf/workingpaper/fseries/F362.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michał Bojanowski & Rense Corten & Bastian Westbrock, 2012. "The structure and dynamics of the global network of inter-firm R&D partnerships 1989–2002," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(6), pages 967-987, December.
    2. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2010. "Putting the Parts Together: Trade, Vertical Linkages, and Business Cycle Comovement," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 95-124, April.
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    4. Takayuki Mizuno & Wataru Souma & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2014. "The Structure and Evolution of Buyer-Supplier Networks," CARF F-Series CARF-F-339, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    5. Barigozzi, Matteo & Fagiolo, Giorgio & Mangioni, Giuseppe, 2011. "Identifying the community structure of the international-trade multi-network," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 390(11), pages 2051-2066.
    6. Saito, Yukiko Umeno & Watanabe, Tsutomu & Iwamura, Mitsuru, 2007. "Do larger firms have more interfirm relationships?," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 383(1), pages 158-163.
    7. Mizuno, Takayuki & Souma, Wataru & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2014. "The Structure and Evolution of Buyer-Supplier Networks," Working Paper Series 27, Center for Interfirm Network, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Y. Fujiwara & H. Aoyama, 2010. "Large-scale structure of a nation-wide production network," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 77(4), pages 565-580, October.
    9. D. Garlaschelli & M. I. Loffredo, 2004. "Fitness-dependent topological properties of the World Trade Web," Papers cond-mat/0403051, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2004.
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