Network theory and its applications in economic systems
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This dissertation covers the two major parts of my Ph.D. research: i) developing theoretical framework of complex networks; and ii) applying complex networks models to quantitatively analyze economics systems. In part I, we focus on developing theories of interdependent networks, which includes two chapters: 1) We develop a mathematical framework to study the percolation of interdependent networks under targeted-attack and find that when the highly connected nodes are protected and have lower probability to fail, in contrast to single scale-free (SF) networks where the percolation threshold pc\ = 0, coupled SF networks are significantly more vulnerable with pc\ significantly larger than zero. 2) We analytically demonstrate that clustering, which quantifies the propensity for two neighbors of the same vertex to also be neighbors of each other, significantly increases the vulnerability of the system. In part II, we apply the complex networks models to study economics systems, which also includes two chapters: 1) We study the US corporate governance network, in which nodes representing directors and links between two directors representing their service on common company boards, and propose a quantitative measure of information and influence transformation in the network. Thus we are able to identify the most influential directors in the network. 2) We propose a bipartite networks model to simulate the risk propagation process among commercial banks during financial crisis. With empirical bank's balance sheet data in 2007 as input to the model, we find that our model efficiently identifies a significant portion of the actual failed banks reported by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation during the financial crisis between 2008 and 2011. The results suggest that complex networks model could be useful for systemic risk stress testing for financial systems. The model also identifies that commercial rather than residential real estate assets are major culprits for the failure of over 350 US commercial banks during 2008 - 2011.