Digitale Geschichte und Historiographie

Social Networks and Entrepreneurship. Evidence from a Historical Episode of Industrialization

23 November 2017

Javier Mejia Cubillos (Los Andes University) presents his paper on the relationship between social networks and entrepreneurship.

This paper explores the relationship between social networks and entrepreneurship by constructing a dynamic social network from archival records. The network corresponds to the elite of a society in transition to modernity, characterized by difficult geographical conditions, market failures, and weak state capacity, as in late 19th and early 20th century Antioquia (Colombia).

With these data, I estimate how the decision to found industrial firms was affected by the position of individuals in the social network. I find that individuals more important bridging the network (i.e. with higher betweenness centrality) were more involved in industrial entrepreneurship. However, I do not find individuals with a denser network to be more involved in this type of activity. The rationale of these results is that industrial entrepreneurship was a highly-complex activity that required a wide variety of complementary resources. Networks operated as substitutes of markets in the acquisition of these resources. Thus, individuals with network positions that favored the combination of a broad set of resources had a comparative advantage in industrial entrepreneurship. I run several tests to prove this rationale.


Javier Mejia Cubillos is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at Los Andes University.


Thursday, 23 November 2017, 10.00 - 11.00


C²DH, DTU meeting room

Maison des Sciences humaines, 4th floor

University of Luxembourg, Belval Campus

11, Porte des Sciences

L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette