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A Network Analysis of Countries’ Export Flows: Firm Grounds for the Building Blocks of the Economy

Caldarelli, Guido and Cristelli, Matthieu and Gabrielli, Andrea and Pietronero, Luciano and Scala, Antonio and Tacchella, Andrea A Network Analysis of Countries’ Export Flows: Firm Grounds for the Building Blocks of the Economy. PloS One, 7 (10). e47278. ISSN 1932-6203 (2012)

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In this paper we analyze the bipartite network of countries and products from UN data on country production. We define the country-country and product-product projected networks and introduce a novel method of filtering information based on elements’ similarity. As a result we find that country clustering reveals unexpected socio-geographic links among the most competing countries. On the same footings the products clustering can be efficiently used for a bottom-up classification of produced goods. Furthermore we mathematically reformulate the “reflections method” introduced by Hidalgo and Hausmann as a fixpoint problem; such formulation highlights some conceptual weaknesses of the approach. To overcome such an issue, we introduce an alternative methodology (based on biased Markov chains) that allows to rank countries in a conceptually consistent way. Our analysis uncovers a strong non-linear interaction between the diversification of a country and the ubiquity of its products, thus suggesting the possible need of moving towards more efficient and direct non-linear fixpoint algorithms to rank countries and products in the global market.</p>

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047278
Projects: EC FET Open Project “FOC” No. 255987
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QC Physics
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Ms T. Iannizzi
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2012 07:27
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2016 09:28
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/1422

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