We liked this from Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder, and Stefano Battiston – they’ve modelled relationships and control models of the power elite and created a picture of what that actually looks like. This is from Plos One, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication.

“A common intuition among scholars and in the media sees the global economy as being dominated by a handful of powerful transnational corporations (TNCs). However, this has not been confirmed or rejected with explicit numbers. A quantitative investigation is not a trivial task because firms may exert control over other firms via a web of direct and indirect ownership relations which extends over many countries. Therefore, a complex network analysis [1] is needed in order to uncover the structure of control and its implications.

The structure of the control network of transnational corporations affects global market competition and financial stability. So far, only small national samples were studied and there was no appropriate methodology to assess control globally. We present the first investigation of the architecture of the international ownership network, 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” that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers.”

Read the whole article here.

Copyright: © 2011 Vitali et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.