Economic complexity of prefectures in Japan
Every nation prioritizes the inclusive economic growth and development of all regions. However, we observe that economic activities are clustered in space, which results in a disparity in per-capita income among different regions. A complexity-based method was proposed by Hidalgo and Hausmann [PNAS 106, 10570-10575 (2009)] to explain the large gaps in per-capita income across countries. Although there have been extensive studies on countries’ economic complexity using international export data, studies on economic complexity at the regional level are relatively less studied.
Here, we study the industrial sector complexity of prefectures in Japan based on the basic information of more than one million firms. We aggregate the data as a bipartite network of prefectures and industrial sectors. We decompose the bipartite network as a prefecture-prefecture network and sector-sector network, which reveals the relationships among them. Similarities among the prefectures and among the sectors are measured using a metric. From these similarity matrices, we cluster the prefectures and sectors using the minimal spanning tree technique. The computed economic complexity index from the structure of the bipartite network shows a high correlation with macroeconomic indicators, such as per-capita gross prefectural product and prefectural income per person. We argue that this index reflects the present economic performance and hidden potential of the prefectures for future growth.