Dr. Cesar Hidalgo, MIT
Complexity as the Foundation of Modern Economies
slide 1 of 60  

With billions of products, billions of people, and trillions of interactions, the world economy is one of the most outstanding complex systems to have ever emerged. Can we use complexity science to improve our understanding of a system of such paramount complexity? In this talk, Dr. Hidalgo will summarize recent research that uses networks to describe, characterize and understand differences in the productive structure of nations. He will show how the complexity of an economy can be quantified by looking at the structure of the network connecting countries to the products they export, and that countries tend to approach a level of income which is dictated by the complexity of their economies. Dr. Hidalgo will also present how development is constrained by a projection of this network into the space of products, or Product Space, by demonstrating empirically that the evolution of countries comparative advantage is limited by the structure of this network. He concludes by presenting a simple model that can account for some of the stylized facts that arise from this network description of the world economy and show how coordination problems restrict the development of poor countries and cause increasing returns to economic diversity.

Cesar Hidalgo is an assistant professor in The Media Laboratory at MIT, and a faculty associate in the Center for International Development at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Dr Hidalgo's work focuses on improving the understanding of systems using and developing concepts of complexity, evolution and network science. His areas of application include (i) economic development, where he has pioneered the use of networks to quantify the productive structure of countries and its evolution, (ii) systems biology where he has published work on disease co-morbidity and genetic regulation, and (iii), social systems, where he has worked on human mobility and social network analysis using mobile phone data. Dr. Hidalgo is also a graphic art enthusiast and has published and exposed artwork that uses data collected originally for scientific purposes. He holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor in Physics from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. With billions of products, billions of people, and trillions of interactions, the world economy is one of the most outstanding complex systems to have ever emerged. Can we use complexity science to improve our understanding of a system of such paramount complexity? In this talk, Dr. Hidalgo will summarize recent research that uses networks to describe, characterize and understand differences in the productive structure of nations.

http://www.chidalgo.com/

Adams . Backstrom . Benbrahim . Bianconi . Budden . Ghanea . Hidalgo . Meszoely . Novikova . Park . Smith . West