Preliminary Calibration of Corporate-based Urban Networks: A Cautionary Tale from China

Authors: Ze Zhang*, Tongji University
Topics: Applied Geography, China
Keywords: Calibration, urban networks, corporate, a cautionary tale, China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Congressional B, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Given the imperfections of the widely used empirical methods for approximating urban networks based on corporate networks, the interchangeability of different approaches is considered worthy of exploiting. In China, the annual reports of publicly listed firms record the main operational activities throughout the preceding year because of the disclosure requirements, which provide genuinely relational data for cities. Based on the same investment linkage dataset of listed firms, we build both an unweighted network by counting the numbers of linkages and a capital weighted network by adding up the investment volume of each linkage. A comparison among the unweighted network, the capital weighted network as well as the previous interlocking network is carried out. The unweighted urban network shares the same characteristics with the interlocking networks, while the capital weighted network is unique. Both the overall spatial pattern and top city-dyads of capital weighted network seem to be Beijing’s one-man show, a0nd the other two networks show multilateral interactions between China’s top cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. Furthermore, we divide the overall network into two subnetworks inferred by focusing on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) or private enterprises. The results show that public and private sectors have separately created vastly different subnetworks in China and SOEs play a much more significant role in terms of capital. Besides the fresh insights into China’s urban network, this study provides a cautionary tale to remind researchers of the essentiality and complexity when making a quantitative distinction between different inter-firm linkages.

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