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The Italian Corporate System: SOEs, Private Firms and Institutions in a Network Perspective (1952-1983)

Listed author(s):
  • Leonardo Bargigli

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)

  • Renato Giannetti

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)

How did business networks among Italian firms evolve over time? We address this question by analyzing the Italian corporate boards network in four years (1952, 1960, 1972, 1983) with network theoretical methods. We find some typical properties of these networks, such as sparsity and connectedness in the same large network component. At the same time, clustering and assortativity are relatively high and stable, while we observe, over time, an increase of the average distance coupled with a decrease of density and of the relative size of the largest component. This is an indication of a rarefaction of connections which is detected also in other national systems. In order to seek the determinants of this phenomenon, we perform a panel regression for the average nodal degree, finding that rarefaction is mostly related to a genuine time trend and only partially to cross-sectional variables. We argue that a possible explanation is a significant increase of concentration which we observe in our dataset, consistently with historical evidence. The network shows a substantial stability in some structures, such as core-periphery subdivision. Looking at the main actors we find a persistent centrality of banks and insurances, as well as of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). These play a growing role in the community structure of the network, while communities themselves become more and more diversified by sector.

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Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2015_01.rdf.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2015_01.rdf
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  1. Stefania Vitali & James B. Glattfelder & Stefano Battiston, 2011. "The network of global corporate control," Papers 1107.5728, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2011.
  2. Alexander Aganin & Paolo Volpin, 2005. "The History of Corporate Ownership in Italy," NBER Chapters,in: A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers, pages 325-366 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. L. Bargigli & G. di Iasio & L. Infante & F. Lillo & F. Pierobon, 2015. "The multiplex structure of interbank networks," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 673-691, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Viaggiu, Stefano & Lionetto, Andrea & Bargigli, Leonardo & Longo, Michele, 2012. "Statistical ensembles for money and debt," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(20), pages 4839-4849.
  6. Martin J. Conyon & Mark R. Muldoon, 2006. "The Small World of Corporate Boards," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(9-10), pages 1321-1343.
  7. Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Finance," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 502-519.
  8. 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.
  9. Milaković, Mishael & Alfarano, Simone & Lux, Thomas, 2008. "The small core of the German corporate board network," Kiel Working Papers 1446, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  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. Rinaldi, Alberto & Vasta, Michelanelo, 2005. "The Structure of Italian Capitalism, 1952 1972: New Evidence Using the Interlocking Directorates Technique," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 173-198, October.
  12. Grassi, Rosanna, 2010. "Vertex centrality as a measure of information flow in Italian Corporate Board Networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(12), pages 2455-2464.
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