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The World-Trade Web: Topological Properties, Dynamics, and Evolution

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  • Giorgio Fagiolo
  • Javier Reyes
  • Stefano Schiavo

Abstract

This paper studies the statistical properties of the web of import-export relationships among world countries using a weighted-network approach. We analyze how the distributions of the most important network statistics measuring connectivity, assortativity, clustering and centrality have co-evolved over time. We show that all node-statistic distributions and their correlation structure have remained surprisingly stable in the last 20 years -- and are likely to do so in the future. Conversely, the distribution of (positive) link weights is slowly moving from a log-normal density towards a power law. We also characterize the autoregressive properties of network-statistics dynamics. We find that network-statistics growth rates are well-proxied by fat-tailed densities like the Laplace or the asymmetric exponential-power. Finally, we find that all our results are reasonably robust to a few alternative, economically-meaningful, weighting schemes.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2008/16
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    Keywords

    Weighted Networks; World Trade Web; Distribution Dynamics; Power Laws; Econophysics;

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