CSH Webtalk by James McNerney: “Bridging the short-term and long-term dynamics of economic structural change”

Dec 01, 2021 | 15:0016:00

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This talk will be presented by James McNerney (Growth Lab, Harvard University) on December 1st, 2021, at 3 pm via Zoom.


To join this Webtalk, click here for the Zoom link.


Title: Bridging the short-term and long-term dynamics of economic structural change



In the short-term, economies shift preferentially into new activities that are related to ones they currently do.  Such a tendency should have implications for the nature of an economy’s long-term development as well.  We explore these implications using a dynamical network model of an economy’s movement into new activities.  First, we theoretically derive a pair of coordinates that summarize long-term structural change.  One coordinate captures overall ability across activities, the other captures an economy’s composition.  Second, we show empirically how these two measures intuitively summarize a variety of facts of long-term economic development.  Third, we observe that our measures resemble complexity metrics, though our route to these metrics differs significantly from previous ones.  In total, our framework represents a dynamical approach that bridges short- and long-term descriptions of structural change, and suggests how different branches of economic complexity analysis could potentially fit together in one framework.


Dec 01, 2021