Numerous studies focus on understanding the organization and operations of global economic and production networks. However, the evolution of the spatial and structural dimensions of these networks has rarely been explored. Drawing on the foreign direct investment (FDI) data from the Zephyr Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) database, this article investigates the evolutionary patterns of global economic networks from 2000 to 2007 and from 2008 to 2016 (the years preceding and following the financial crisis). First, using social network analysis, we illuminated the network properties of the global FDI flows. Second, we employed a fractional logit panel model to reflect the influences on this evolution. The results reveal major shifts in all network properties explored in the pre-crisis period while relatively gradual growth and minor shifts characterized the post-crisis period. Urban connectivity of nations was found to be significant for FDI in the post-crisis period. Significant variations in the locational attributes between the two periods are also demonstrated.

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Journal of Economic Integration
Erasmus University Rotterdam