17 July 2017
San Francesco - Via della Quarquonia 1 (Classroom 2 )
In this contribution, we introduce global ownership of firms adopting a basic network perspective. First, we propose an algorithm that separates corporate control networks from portfolio equity investment. Then, we apply our algorithm on a dataset of about 10 million of companies operating on a global scale in 2015. In this way, we are able to provide for the first time some useful insights on the characteristics of domestic and multinational corporate boundaries. We find that less than 1% of corporate networks collect more than 100 subsidiaries, but they are responsible for more than 50% of global sales. We find that paths of corporate control can run through many middlemen subsidiaries before reaching a final subsidiary. Hence, we document phenomena of round-tripping, multiple passports and indirectly foreign subsidiaries, when paths cross several national borders, up to 8 countries in our sample. Eventually, we find that elaborate control paths arise more likely in countries with good financial institutions, and in presence of international investment agreements.