The relative importance of randstad cities within comparative worldwide corporate networks
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Today, the importance of the Randstad agglomeration is often discussed in terms of the economic coherence between its four largest cities. This is remarkable when several leading authors argue that the economic importance of cities is strongly determined by economic networks between cities worldwide. This discrepancy stems from the fact that limited empirical research exists on corporate networks. Furthermore, the relative importance of cities within various studies is based on different functional types and spatial scales of data, making the results incomparable. Therefore, in this paper, the relative importance of the four largest Randstad cities is explored within three independent, comparative networks (top 100 global firms, top 100 European firms, and top 100 Dutch firms). Employing network analysis techniques, this paper evaluates the local, supra-regional and global importance of the four Randstad cities within the three independent networks. The results show that the relative importance and network structures of these four cities are highly dependent on the economic size and locality of the initial headquarters and that Amsterdam proves to be the most important Randstad city in all three scales of corporate networks.