Ricardo Hausmann Photo

Ricardo Hausmann

Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy

This advanced module will present the methods of economic complexity as they can be used for the analysis of places, firms, products, occupations, technologies, scientific research and educational areas, as well as the interactions among them and their evolution over time.  The world is incredibly complex but understanding requires simplification through tractable models that have fewer dimensions. Much of economics has relied on aggregation as a dimensionality reduction mechanism, summing up the economic components of the world into fewer categories such as GDP, capital and labor. However, aggregation erases information regarding the structure of the economy. Economic complexity tools try to minimize this information loss while preserving tractability. The idea is that activities require capabilities that are distributed across individuals and organizations and must be brought together for each activity to happen. This advanced course will introduce the key concepts of economic complexity and their implementation on big datasets. The course presumes previous exposure to linear algebra, statistics, economics and either R or Python.