The gradual evolution of buyer-seller networks and their role in aggregate fluctuations



Buyer-seller relationships among firms can be regarded as a longi- tudinal network in which the connectivity pattern evolves as each firm receives productivity shocks. Based on a data set describing the evolution of buyer-seller links among 55,608 firms over a decade and structural equation modeling, we find some evidence that interfirm networks evolve reflecting a firm's local decisions to mitigate adverse effects from neigh- bor firms through interfirm linkage, while enjoying positive effects from them. As a result, link renewal tends to have a positive impact on the growth rates of firms. We also investigate the role of networks in aggregate fluctuations.