Joselle Dagnes

Social structure and economic outcomes: the Italian stock market

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: inter-organizational ties, interlocking directorates, financial markets, economic performance, economic and financial crisis.

The article discusses the issue of inter-organizational ties, inquiring about the phenomenon's existence and extent in the Italian stock market and trying to bring out some implications. Specifically, in a first phase we investigate personal ties related to the practice of members of a corporate board of directors serving on the boards of multiple corporations (interlocking directorates) for 2005-2010. We observe the existence of a dense relational network, stable over time, involving a significant number of actors. In a second phase, we investigate the link between social position in the network and economic performance. The analysis unveils a specific effect of structural centrality on firm's return on equity, and its persistence even during the economic crisis: the relationship between the two dimensions relaxes in 2009, but it's re-established in 2010. This result allows to hypothesize a conservative-adaptive function performed by inter-organizational ties in order to reproduce over time consolidated power structures. More generally, this study suggests the opportunity to examine factors related to social dimensions in order to understand the functioning of financial markets.

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