Monday, 20 August 2007

Networks, economics and politics

Albert-László Barabási is a physicist whose study of networks has brought good light to the understanding of many network-phenomena. I quote his work in depth in the book Viral Change because his approach is crucial to understand how change works inside the organization. To my knowledge my book is pioneer in the application of network theory to the specifics of change management. Now Albert-László Barabási with another physicist has come to the rescue to the socio-political question of why some countries develop in different ways, from economic and political perspective. This is of course a.. er… small question.

Two economists and two physicists get together and map the products developed by some countries and their associate complexity in development. A full article in Slate is s good summary of the authors paper in Science. Here is a quote from the article: "The physicists' map shows each economy in this network of products, by highlighting the products each country exported. Over time, economies move across the product map as their export mix changes. Rich countries have larger, more diversified economies, and so produce lots of products—especially products close to the densely connected heart of the network. East Asian economies look very different, with a big cluster around textiles and another around electronics manufacturing, and—contrary to the hype—not much activity in the products produced by rich countries. African countries tend to produce a
few products with no great similarity to any others." Worth reading.

1 comment:

Alex Milmeyster said...

This is a brilliant project. I think that it could be really useful to org-eco-geeks as well as entrepreneurs. I made a few comments about this on my blog. As far as your book goes, I "flipped" through it on the web, and it seems like something I would, indeed, be interested in. Thanks for the reference.