Mapping the World Economy

Using the Physics of Complex Systems, it is possible to map the emerging structure of the world economy. This figure shows a network representation of all tradable products, revealing the complex structure that emerges from millions of local economic decisions. 

The complexity of economic systems stems in part from the heterogeneity of its parts as well as the large number of them.  This gives the physics of networks and complexity a good angle from which to study the dynamics and statistical properties of macro-economic systems.

The image below is followed by a network legend to identify products, proximity, and monetary value.

To learn more about this project and download software to draw your own product space, visit The Product Space and the Wealth of Nations.

complex network representation of tradable products
Image credit: C.A. Hidalgo
key for complex network


Research partners include the Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR) at the University of Notre Dame and the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard Kennedy School.  Collaborators include C.A. Hidalgo, B. Klinger, A-L Barabasi, and R. Hausmann.


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