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Modeling international crisis synchronization in the World Trade Web


  • Pau Erola
  • Albert Diaz-Guilera
  • Sergio Gomez
  • Alex Arenas


Trade is a fundamental pillar of economy and a form of social organization. Its empirical characterization at the worldwide scale is represented by the World Trade Web (WTW), the network built upon the trade relationships between the different countries. Several scientific studies have focused on the structural characterization of this network, as well as its dynamical properties, since we have registry of the structure of the network at different times in history. In this paper we study an abstract scenario for the development of global crises on top of the structure of connections of the WTW. Assuming a cyclic dynamics of national economies and the interaction of different countries according to the import-export balances, we are able to investigate, using a simple model of pulse-coupled oscillators, the synchronization phenomenon of crises at the worldwide scale. We focus on the level of synchronization measured by an order parameter at two different scales, one for the global system and another one for the mesoscales defined through the topology. We use the WTW network structure to simulate a network of Integrate-and-Fire oscillators for six different snapshots between years 1950 and 2000. The results reinforce the idea that globalization accelerates the global synchronization process, and the analysis at a mesoscopic level shows that this synchronization is different before and after globalization periods: after globalization, the effect of communities is almost inexistent.

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  • Pau Erola & Albert Diaz-Guilera & Sergio Gomez & Alex Arenas, 2012. "Modeling international crisis synchronization in the World Trade Web," Papers 1201.2024,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1201.2024

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. D. Garlaschelli & T. Di Matteo & T. Aste & G. Caldarelli & M. I. Loffredo, 2007. "Interplay between topology and dynamics in the World Trade Web," Papers physics/0701030,
    2. M. Ayhan Kose & Christopher Otrok & Eswar Prasad, 2012. "Global Business Cycles: Convergence Or Decoupling?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 511-538, May.
    3. Tiziano Squartini & Giorgio Fagiolo & Diego Garlaschelli, 2011. "Randomizing world trade. I. A binary network analysis," Papers 1103.1243,, revised Nov 2011.
    4. Jiankui He & Michael W. Deem, 2010. "Structure and Response in the World Trade Network," Papers 1010.0410,
    5. Giorgio Fagiolo & Javier Reyes & Stefano Schiavo, 2008. "The World-Trade Web: Topological Properties, Dynamics, and Evolution," LEM Papers Series 2008/16, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Hyman P. Minsky, 1992. "The Financial Instability Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_74, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. D. Garlaschelli & T. Di Matteo & T. Aste & G. Caldarelli & M. I. Loffredo, 2007. "Interplay between topology and dynamics in the World Trade Web," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 57(2), pages 159-164, May.
    8. Li, Xiang & Ying Jin, Yu & Chen, Guanrong, 2003. "Complexity and synchronization of the World trade Web," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 328(1), pages 287-296.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Saracco & Riccardo Di Clemente & Andrea Gabrielli & Tiziano Squartini, 2015. "Detecting early signs of the 2007-2008 crisis in the world trade," Papers 1508.03533,, revised Jul 2016.

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