Ownership networks

Ownership networks represent a special type of economic networks, wherein the dynamics of stakeholders or companies are represented by agents in a network. The directed links between agents represent possession or interest.

This field of research poses several challenges, since such ownership links stretch out internationally over the whole world, while available data is mostly limited to country-level. One of our goals is to map these links in a global manner, to accumulate global power based in nation-wide information.

By carrying on the first investigation of the international ownership network architecture, along with the computation of the control held by each global player, we find that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic "super-entity'', the emergence of which raises important issues both for researchers and policy makers.

The figure shows a representation of a typical bow-tie network architecture (A), and of the structure of a real ownership network (B). The complete empirical ownership network is depicted in (C), while the core nodes are highlighted in (D) together with some cycles.



Selected Publications

Geography versus topology in the european ownership network

Vitali, Stefania; Battiston, Stefano

New Journal of Physics, pages: 63021, volume: 13, number: 6


The network of global corporate control

Vitali, Stefania; Glattfelder, James B.; Battiston, Stefano

PLOS ONE, pages: 1-6, volume: 6, number: 10


Backbone of complex networks of corporations: The flow of control

Glattfelder, James B.; Battiston, Stefano

Physical Review E, pages: 36104, volume: 80, number: 3


The Network of Inter-regional Direct Investment Stocks across Europe

Battiston, Stefano; Rodrigues, Joao F.; Zeytinoglu, Hamza

ACS - Advances in Complex Systems, pages: 29-51, volume: 10, number: 1