Volume 72, Issue 7 p. 811-823
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Power in the U.S. political economy: A network analysis

Nishant Malik

Corresponding Author

Nishant Malik

School of Mathematical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA

Correspondence

Nishant Malik, School of Mathematical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA.

Email: [email protected]

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David Spencer

David Spencer

Department of Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

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Quang Neo Bui

Quang Neo Bui

Saunders College of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA

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First published: 25 January 2021

Abstract

Many features of the U.S. political economy arise from the interactions between large political and economic institutions, and yet we know little about the nature of their interactions and the power distribution between these institutions. In this paper, we present a detailed analysis of networks of U.S.-based organizations, where edges represent three different kinds of relationships, namely owner–owned (ownerships), donor–donee (donations), and service provider–payee (transactions). Our findings suggest that in the ownerships network, the financial organizations form the core, and banking organizations hold strategic locations in the network. In the transactions network, the government organizations and agencies form the core, and defense-related organizations form the backbone. In contrast, with the donations network, no specific domain of organizations forms either the core or the backbone.