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The Dynamics of Nestedness Predicts the Evolution of Industrial Ecosystems

  • Bustos, Sebastian

    (Harvard University)

  • Gomez, Charles

    (Stanford University)

  • Hausmann, Ricardo

    (Harvard University and Santa Fe Institute)

  • Hidalgo, Cesar A.

    (Harvard University and MIT)

Decades of research in ecology have shown that nestedness is a ubiquitous characteristic of both, biological and economic ecosystems. The dynamics of nestedness, however, have rarely been observed. Here we show that the nestedness of both, the network connecting countries to the products that they export and the network connecting municipalities to the industries that are present in them, remains constant over time. Moreover, we find that the conservation of nestedness is sustained by both, a bias for industries that deviate from the networks' nestedness to disappear, and a bias for the industries that are missing according to nestedness to appear. This makes the appearance and disappearance of individual industries in each location predictable. The conservation of nestedness in industrial ecosystems, and the predictability implied by it, demonstrates the importance of industrial ecosystems in the long term survival of economic activities.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp12-021.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp12-021
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  1. Frank Neffke & Martin Henning & Ron Boschma, 2011. "How Do Regions Diversify over Time? Industry Relatedness and the Development of New Growth Paths in Regions," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 87(3), pages 237-265, 07.
  2. David J. Bryce & Sidney G. Winter, 2009. "A General Interindustry Relatedness Index," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(9), pages 1570-1585, September.
  3. Balassa, Bela, 1986. "Comparative Advantage in Manufactured Goods: A Reappraisal," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 315-19, May.
  4. Hausmann, Ricardo & Hwang, Jason & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "What You Export Matters," Working Paper Series rwp05-063, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090, arXiv.org.
  6. Ricardo Hausmann & Cesar A. Hidalgo, 2011. "The Network Structure of Economic Output," Papers 1101.1707, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2012.
  7. Teece, David J. & Rumelt, Richard & Dosi, Giovanni & Winter, Sidney, 1994. "Understanding corporate coherence : Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, January.
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