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Identifying the community structure of the international-trade multi-network

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We study the community structure of the multi-network of commodity-specific trade relations among world countries over the 1992-2003 period. We compare structures across commodities and time by means of the normalized mutual information index (NMI). We also compare them with exogenous community structures induced by geography and regional trade agreements. We find that commodity-specific community structures are very heterogeneous and much more fragmented than that characterizing the aggregate ITN. This shows that the aggregate properties of the ITN may result (and be very different) from the aggregation of very diverse commodity-specific layers of the multi-network. We also show that commodity-specific community structures, especially those related to the chemical sector, are becoming more and more similar to the aggregate one. Finally, our findings suggest that geography-induced partitions of our set of countries are much more correlated with observed community structures than partitions induced by regional-trade agreements. This result strengthens previous findings from the empirical literature on trade.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36142/

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