Networks Webinar Series - Carolina Mattsson

28 Jan 2022
Zoom Meeting

The Janeway Institute hosts the Networks Webinar Series which is organised by George Charlson, Sanjeev Goyal, Matt Elliott and Akhil Vohra.

On Friday 28th January 2022, 14.00 - 15.00, the speaker will be Carolina Mattsson (Leiden University).

Carolina is a network scientist developing the analysis tools and modelling frameworks we need to study the economy as a complex system. Currently she works as a postdoc with the Computational Network Science lab within LIACS at Leiden University, where she studies the structure of production networks, real-world transaction data from payment systems, and temporal network representations. 

Personal website

Title: Functional Structure in Production Networks

Abstract: Production networks are integral to economic dynamics, yet dis-aggregated network data on inter-firm trade is rarely collected and often proprietary. Here we situate company-level production networks within a wider space of networks that are different in nature, but similar in local connectivity structure. Through this lens, we study a regional and a national network of inferred trade relationships reconstructed from Dutch national economic statistics and re-interpret prior empirical findings. We find that company-level production networks have so-called functional structure, as previously identified in protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks. Functional networks are distinctive in their over-representation of closed squares, which we quantify using an existing measure called spectral bipartivity. Shared local connectivity structure lets us ferry insights between domains. PPI networks are shaped by complementarity, rather than homophily, and we use multi-layer directed configuration models to show that this principle explains the emergence of functional structure in production networks. Companies are especially similar to their close competitors, not to their trading partners. Our findings have practical implications for the analysis of production networks and give us precise terms for the local structural features that may be key to understanding their routine function, failure, and growth.