Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Technological complexity and economic development

Nepelski, Daniel and De Prato, Giuditta (2015): Technological complexity and economic development.

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Although technological complexity seems to be a crucial determinant of economic development, it remains insufficiently explored. Relying on micro information stored in individual patent applications and by applying the network view of countries linked to the technologies they develop, we create a global technology space and derive complexity measures that position countries in this space. Our measures of technological diversification and the ubiquity of technologies present in a country’s technology portfolio are further used as an input to explain the role of technological complexity in countries’ income and economic development. We show that a country's position in the global technology space affects its level of income and growth. The main channel through which it happens is the exclusiveness and uniqueness of the technological portfolio a country has, as compared to the remaining countries.

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