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The policy implications of economic complexity

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  • Hidalgo, César A.

Abstract

In recent years economic complexity has grown into an active field of fundamental and applied research. Yet, despite important advances, the policy implications of economic complexity can remain unclear or misunderstood. Here I organize the policy implications of economic complexity in a framework grounded on 4 Ws: what approaches, focused on identifying target activities and/or locations; when approaches, focused on the timing of related and unrelated diversification; where approaches, focused on the geographic diffusion of knowledge; and who approaches, focused on the role played by agents of structural change. The goal of this paper is to provide a framework that groups, organizes, and clarifies the policy implications of economic complexity and facilitates its continued use in regional and international development.

Suggested Citation

  • Hidalgo, César A., 2023. "The policy implications of economic complexity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(9).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:52:y:2023:i:9:s0048733323001476
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2023.104863
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    2. Li, Yang & Neffke, Frank M.H., 2024. "Evaluating the principle of relatedness: Estimation, drivers and implications for policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(3).
    3. Juan Antonio González Sierra & Carla Carolina Pérez Hernández & Jessica Mendoza Moheno, 2023. "Inclusión financiera y complejidad económica en México," Remef - Revista Mexicana de Economía y Finanzas Nueva Época REMEF (The Mexican Journal of Economics and Finance), Instituto Mexicano de Ejecutivos de Finanzas, IMEF, vol. 18(2), pages 1-25, Abril - J.
    4. Koen Frenken & Frank Neffke & Alje van Dam, 2023. "Capabilities, institutions and regional economic development: a proposed synthesis," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 16(3), pages 405-416.
    5. Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm, 2023. "The least developed countries' transitional exemption in the TRIPS agreement and the strength of intellectual property protection," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    6. Duygu Buyukyazici, 2022. "Skills for Smart Specialization: Relatedness, Complexity and Evaluation of Priorities," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2218, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Sep 2022.
    7. Daniel Moura da Costa Teixeira & Helder Lara Ferreira Filho & Jose Luis Oreiro, 2023. "Environmental Sustainability and the Economic Complexity: Policy Implications for a New Developmentalism Strategy," Working Papers PKWP2312, Post Keynesian Economics Society (PKES).
    8. Sena Kimm Gnangnon, 2022. "Effect of Structural Economic Vulnerability on the Participation in International Trade," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 15(9), pages 1-36, September.
    9. María Guadalupe Montiel-Hernández & Carla Carolina Pérez-Hernández & Blanca Cecilia Salazar-Hernández, 2024. "The Intrinsic Links of Economic Complexity with Sustainability Dimensions: A Systematic Review and Agenda for Future Research," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 16(1), pages 1-26, January.
    10. Yang Li & Frank Neffke, 2022. "Relatedness in regional development: in search of the right specification," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2208, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Apr 2022.
    11. Duygu Buyukyazici & Francesco Quatraro, 2024. "The Skill Requirements of the Circular Economy," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2411, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Apr 2024.
    12. Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm, 2024. "Effects of intellectual property rights protection on services export diversification in developing countries," KDI Journal of Economic Policy, Korea Development Institute (KDI), vol. 46(1), pages 53-89.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic complexity; Industrial policy; Relatedness; Smart specialization; Networks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O25 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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