where public money goes worldwide

Total amount
57,399,602,771
Number of payments
84,405

Chicago is the only city examined (compared to countries or states) but the volume of data ranging from 1993 to 2013 offer a total amount for examination fairly comparable to a state or country. There are distinct characteristics originating from the fact that a city has different needs and priorities from a state/country and of course many resemblances to one (e.g. no need for defence/border safeguarding expenses).

Results can be summarized as follows:

  1. The dispersion of the public budget is made in a balanced way through 52 agents (payers) to a network of local companies and authorities and there are also major global players as well.
  2. The fact that the city is a transportation hub and resides to lake Michigan is pictured on the graph as major nodes both payers and payees are present and belong to transportation, water management and public utilities sector.
  3. The graph diameter is 1 as there are payer/payee only nodes and modularity is 0.79 indicating specialization structure of the payment network. The companies with major weighted-in degree are mainly corporates and institutions offering goods and services related to health, education, construction and transportation/aviation/public utilities services.


In the illustration above, we can see the evaluation of payers (red nodes). The size of nodes in the graph is relevant to the amount of payments they give or receive (weighted degree), while their color is relevant to the amount of the money spent (weighted out-degree, major red).


Public Payments to Forbes Global 2000 Companies

Company nameTotal amount# Payments
Exelon 755,618,31329
IBM 307,518,35014
World Fuel Services 244,498,2044
AT&T 125,000,0001
Northrop Grumman 109,947,1838
URS 104,378,85166
Motorola 81,497,47851
Waste Management 75,835,956148
Staples 69,684,14344
Oracle 64,314,08934
Southwest Airlines 50,299,3808
Aon 49,777,90820
Siemens 46,406,43132
Fluor 44,588,2392
Boeing 40,000,0001
ACE 39,995,234147
Kajima 38,601,4535
Affiliated Computer 37,221,0712
Norfolk Southern 34,177,05326
Kone 32,200,43641
Jacobs Engineering 29,253,65712
Cardinal Health 26,000,0006
Prudential 25,828,1836
Union Pacific 19,932,85724
Edison 18,437,45644
Vulcan Materials 13,549,74117
NEC 12,736,61922
ITT 11,576,59716
HLTH 10,978,24583
State Street 9,477,4001
Continental 8,060,62735
Hewlett-Packard 6,594,68913
Next 6,000,0001
Medtronic 5,943,23216
Quest Diagnostics 5,693,5006
Securitas 5,225,4321
Severn Trent 4,702,1723
G4S 4,047,0272
Canadian Pacific Railway 3,670,5005
Cummins 3,574,6363
Gannett 2,510,8316
Light 2,445,64446
Schlumberger 2,385,9645
Progressive 1,771,32326
Harris 1,670,88620
Target 1,568,02422
E.ON 1,547,25514
Pitney Bowes 1,182,68032
Wyeth 844,3554
JPMorgan Chase 800,0001
Manpower 710,0002
Total 619,2611
Praxair 585,1865
Acer 500,8884
Sun Microsystems 500,0002
American Express 500,0003
Novartis 500,0001
CBS 448,5377
Eastman Kodak 417,29815
Coach 354,4309
Abbott Laboratories 342,8933
CSR 250,0003
Northern Trust 220,0292
Dun & Bradstreet 219,9518
Crown 216,7254
Flowserve 196,7335
Brambles 165,32510
Amphenol 159,2987
United Parcel Service 148,1654
Allstate 100,0001
Pearson 99,0085
L-3 Communications 91,7804
San Miguel 74,0819
Ball 57,2303
Ingersoll-Rand 49,7439
Gap 47,0002
Ashland 36,5155
Olympus 32,7751
Henry Schein 30,0767
Thomson 27,4473
Comcast 24,2506
Apple 14,8427
Ericsson 11,1602
Santos 10,0001
Pfizer 10,0003
Alfa Laval 9,0321
ALFA 9,0321
Wells Fargo 8,0325
Canon 7,4332
SGS 5,7691
Harley-Davidson 5,0002
Invensys 4,7441
Xerox 3,7964
Waters 2,5852
Carnival 2,0002
Goodrich 1,5241
Microsoft 1,4951
Advanced Micro 1,2901
Fujitsu 1,0001
ENI 7922
Office Depot 2501
Adobe Systems 1581
ABB 03
Aetna 03
Fannie Mae 02