Networks and Spatial Economics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 791–817 | Cite as

Analyzing Diversity, Strength and Centrality of Cities Using Networks of Multinational Firms

  • Owais A. Hussain
  • Faraz ZaidiEmail author
  • Céline Rozenblat


Cities play an important role in the regional, national and continental development of economies, as well as global trade and infrastructure. Most of this development revolves around the presence of multinational firms and the inter-connected systems formed by their linkages. Analyzing the networks formed by these multinational firms can uncover many interesting trends and patterns providing insight into not only the development of individual cities, but also the various world regions they belong to. In this paper, we are particularly interested in networks of cities from the year 2010 and 2013 in order to understand how cities have changed in the context of networks of multinational firms. We consider diversity, strength and centrality as the key indicators to measure the importance of a city and based on these indicators analyze how cities have changed their roles in the networks of multinational firms overtime. We also introduce a cumulative ranking based on these three indicators to position cities in terms of their importance in the world. This study not only strengthens previous findings from a network analysis perspective but it also reveals the cities with considerable growth and/or significant decline over the periods studied.


Complex networks World cities Multinational firms Influence mining Social network analysis 



The authors would like to thank Jamie Barnes from the Region of Peel for his valuable insights to improve the manuscript. We would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable input which allowed us to significantly improve the quality of this manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PAF-Karachi Institute of Economics and TechnologyKarachiPakistan
  2. 2.Region of Peel, Mississauga, Canada and PAF-Karachi Institute of Economics and TechnologyKarachiPakistan
  3. 3.Institute of Geography and SustainabilityUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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