Questions about overall network structure and differences across type of tie and time are an understudied and exciting area of research. We address these research questions: What is the structure of the network of joint ventures and alliances among corporations in the United States? How does this network structure change over an economic boom and bust cycle? How does the structure of other types of ties such as shareholding ties differ from the structure of joint venture ties or alliance ties? How do different types of ties change over an economic cycle? Most of the available research on the topic of overall network structure is limited to particular industries or the largest firms in the economy. Although large-scale data on ties across time exists, research on the overall structure of these networks is hobbled by the presence of serious data issues, which make it difficult to use existing data on interorganizational ties to construct meaningful networks. Therefore, our secondary objective is to examine these data issues, and suggest solutions and algorithms that could be used to overcome these data issues.
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