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An Econometric Model of Network Formation with an Application to Board Interlocks between Firms


  • Gualdani, Cristina


The paper provides a framework for partially identifying the parameters governing agents’ preferences in a static game of network formation with interdependent link decisions, complete information, and transferable or non-transferable payoffs. The proposed methodology attenuates the computational difficulties arising at the inference stage - due to the huge number of moment inequalities characterising the sharp identified set and the impossibility of brute-force calculating the integrals entering them - by decomposing the network formation game into local games which have a structure similar to entry games and are such that the network formation game is in equilibrium if and only if each local game is in equilibrium. As an empirical illustration of the developed procedure, the paper estimates firms’ incentives for having executives sitting on the board of competitors, using Italian data.

Suggested Citation

  • Gualdani, Cristina, 2018. "An Econometric Model of Network Formation with an Application to Board Interlocks between Firms," TSE Working Papers 17-898, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:32550

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hiroaki Kaido & Francesca Molinari & Jörg Stoye, 2019. "Confidence Intervals for Projections of Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(4), pages 1397-1432, July.
    2. Koen Jochmans, 2018. "Semiparametric Analysis of Network Formation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 705-713, October.
    3. Angelo Mele, 2017. "A Structural Model of Dense Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 825-850, May.
    4. à ureo de Paula & Seth Richards†Shubik & Elie Tamer, 2018. "Identifying Preferences in Networks With Bounded Degree," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(1), pages 263-288, January.
    5. McFadden, Daniel, 1989. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models without Numerical Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 995-1026, September.
    6. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
    7. Santella, Paolo & Drago, Carlo & Polo, Andrea, 2007. "The Italian Chamber of Lords Sits on Listed Company Boards: An Empirical Analysis of Italian Listed Company Boards from 1998 to 2006," MPRA Paper 2265, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Vincent Boucher, 2017. "The Estimation of Network Formation Games with Positive Spillovers," Cahiers de recherche 1710, Centre de recherche sur les risques, les enjeux économiques, et les politiques publiques.
    9. Acemoglu, Daron & Jensen, Martin Kaae, 2013. "Aggregate comparative statics," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 27-49.
    10. Andres Aradillas-Lopez & Adam Rosen, 2013. "Inference in ordered response games with complete information," CeMMAP working papers CWP33/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    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. Donald W. K. Andrews & Gustavo Soares, 2010. "Inference for Parameters Defined by Moment Inequalities Using Generalized Moment Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 119-157, January.
    13. David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
    14. Sinha, Shruti, 2018. "Identification in One-to-One Matching Models with Nonparametric Unobservables," TSE Working Papers 18-897, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    15. Arie Beresteanu & Ilya Molchanov & Francesca Molinari, 2011. "Sharp Identification Regions in Models With Convex Moment Predictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(6), pages 1785-1821, November.
    16. George-Levi Gayle & Limor Golan & Robert A. Miller, 2015. "Interlocked Executives and Insider Board Members: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 2015-40, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    17. Bryan S. Graham, 2017. "An Econometric Model of Network Formation With Degree Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1033-1063, July.
    18. Santella, Paolo & Drago, Carlo & Polo, Andrea & Gagliardi, Enrico, 2009. "A Comparison among the director networks in the main listed companies in France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom," MPRA Paper 16397, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Chih‐Sheng Hsieh & Lung Fei Lee, 2016. "A Social Interactions Model with Endogenous Friendship Formation and Selectivity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2), pages 301-319, March.
    20. Dooley, Peter C, 1969. "The Interlocking Directorate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 314-323, June.
    21. Anton Badev, 2014. "Discrete Games in Endogenous Networks: Theory and Policy," 2014 Meeting Papers 901, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luis E. Candelaria, 2020. "A Semiparametric Network Formation Model with Unobserved Linear Heterogeneity," Papers 2007.05403,, revised Aug 2020.
    2. Candelaria, Luis E., 2020. "A Semiparametric Network Formation Model with Unobserved Linear Heterogeneity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1279, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Eric Auerbach, 2019. "Testing for Differences in Stochastic Network Structure," Papers 1903.11117,, revised Nov 2020.
    4. Bryan S. Graham, 2019. "Network Data," NBER Working Papers 26577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Francesca Molinari, 2020. "Microeconometrics with Partial Identification," Papers 2004.11751,
    6. Francesca Molinari, 2019. "Econometrics with Partial Identification," CeMMAP working papers CWP25/19, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. Aureo de Paula, 2019. "Econometric Models of Network Formation," Papers 1910.07781,, revised Jan 2020.
    8. Bontemps, Christian & Kumar, Rohit, 2020. "A geometric approach to inference in set-identified entry games," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 218(2), pages 373-389.

    More about this item


    network formation; pure strategy Nash equilibrium; pairwise stability; multiple equilibria; partial identification; moment inequalities; local games; board interlocks;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • C57 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Econometrics of Games and Auctions
    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium

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