Networks of International Trade and Investment

Understanding globalisation through the lens of network analysis

Sara Gorgoni, Alessia Amighini, Matthew Smith (Eds.)

by Sara Gorgoni (University of Greenwich)

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This book shows the potential contribution of network analysis to our understanding of the geography of a variety of socio-economic trends from migration to trade to foreign direct investment to the structure of the world input-output.

Grazia Ietto-Gillies
Emeritus professor of Applied Economics, London South Bank University
Visiting Research Professor, Birkbeck University of London

In recent decades, the international economy has witnessed fundamental changes in the way manufacturing is organised: products are no longer manufactured in their entirety in a single location. Instead, the production process is often split across a number of stages located in countries that are frequently far apart from each other. By spreading out their manufacturing and supply chain activities globally through international investment and intra-firm trade, Multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a focal role in this reorganisation of production. Our ability to understand the global economy, therefore, requires an understanding of the interdependencies between the entities involved in such fragmented production. Traditional methods and statistical approaches are insufficient to address this challenge. Instead, an approach is required that allows us to account for these interdependencies. The most promising approach so far is network analysis.
‘Networks of International Trade and Investment’ makes a case for the use of network analysis alongside existing techniques in order to investigate pressing issues in international business and economics. The authors put forward a range of well-informed studies that examine compelling topics such as the role of emerging economies in global trade and the evolution of world trade patterns. They look at how network analysis, as both an approach and a methodology, can explain international business and economics phenomena, in particular, in relation to international trade and investment. Providing a comprehensive but accessible explanation of the applications of network analysis and some of the most recent methodological advances in its field, this edited volume is an important contribution to research in international trade and investment.



List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Acronyms

Author Biographies


1. An introduction to network analysis
Matthew Smith and Sara Gorgoni

2. Network Analysis and the study of international trade and investment
Matthew Smith and Sara Gorgoni

3. Structure and evolution of the world’s historical trade patterns
Benjamin Vandermarliere, Samuel Standaert and Stijn Ronsse

4. A new approach to international trade from Network Geometry. The World Trade Atlas 1870-2013
Guillermo García-Pérez, Marián Boguñá, Antoine Allard, and M. Ángeles Serrano

5. Global and local centrality of emerging countries in the world trade network
Luca De Benedictis and Lucia Tajoli

6. World input-output network: applications, implications, and future directions
Massimo Riccaboni and Zhen Zhu

7. Local and trans-local linkages in the aerospace industry: an emerging small world?
Raja Kali, Ekaterina Turkina, and Ari Van Assche

8. The international fragmentation of production: a multilevel network approach
Matthew Smith, Sara Gorgoni and Bruce Cronin

9. The network of European outward foreign direct investments
Giulia De Masi and Giorgio Ricchiuti

10. Free trade agreements network: structure and evolution
Silvia Sopranzetti

11. Moving people: network analysis of international migration
Valerio Leone Sciabolazza



Dr. Sara Gorgoni is a senior lecturer in economic sociology at the University of Greenwich. She has an MA in Political Economy from the University of Essex and a PhD in Development Economics from Roma Tre University. She specialises in business economics and network analysis. She is currently involved in several projects investigating the relationship between global networks in trade and investments. She has also conducted research on foreign direct investment from emerging economies, innovation networks, clusters of SMEs and global value chains. She has carried out research for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Bank and other United Nations agencies. Her work has been published in several world-famous journals including the International Business Review and World Economy.

Alessia Amighini is Co-Head of the Asia Centre and Senior Associate Research Fellow at ISPI. She is Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Economic and Business Studies (DiSEI) at the University of Piemonte Orientale (Novara, Italy), and Adjunct Professor of International Economics at the Catholic University (Milan, Italy). Amighini previously worked as an Associate Economist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD, Geneva, Switzerland). Alessia holds a PhD in Development Economics from the University of Florence (Italy) and a Master in Economics as well as a BA in Economics from Bocconi University (Milan, Italy). She has published in many international peer-reviewed journals such as China Economic Review, World Development, The World Economy, International Economics, China and the World Economy. Alessia also published chapters in several books for Edwar Elgar, Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, Palgrave, Routledge; she coauthored ‘L’economia della Cina’ (Carocci, 2007) and Macroeconomics: A European Perspective (Pearson, 2010 and 2013). She has contributed to several international research projects sponsored by the Central Bank of Sweden, Inter-American Development Bank and UNU-WIDER.

Matthew Smith is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. Dr Smith completed his PhD in international business and economics at the University of Greenwich in 2016, where he made use of advanced social network analysis techniques to inform on the organisation of production in the global economy. Broadly, his research interests focus on social network analysis, more specifically, the application of Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) to explain how observed network structures emerge, and multilevel network analysis. Currently, Dr Smith is working on a project that aims at testing hypotheses derived from theoretical models of cultural evolution to shed light on the diffusion of innovations in a small scale society.

Bibliographic Information

Book Title
Networks of International Trade and Investment
Book Subtitle
Understanding globalisation through the lens of network analysis
Number of pages
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
88 BW
Publication date
March 2018