Data and network science methods in economic geography

Session organisers:
  • Neave O’Clery (University College London, UK)
  • Balázs Lengyel (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Eötvös Loránd Research Network, Hungary)
  • Samuel Heroy (University College London, UK)
  • Mattie Landman (University of Oxford, UK)

In recent years exciting advancements have been made at the intersection of data science and economic geography. Data-driven ideas and methods borrowed from computer science, mathematics, physics, and computational social science have been harnessed to investigate socio-economic phenomena and provide new fertilizing potential across disciplines. Examples are wide ranging. The application of text analysis to mine datasets such as patents, research abstracts or social media, and the deployment of sophisticated network analysis tools to uncover the structure of social interactions, mobility or economic transactions belong to this
quickly evolving interdisciplinary area. Given the ever-increasing range of new types of data exploited to better understand economic processes, and the growing interest in the field, the time is ripe to foster further innovation and exploration at this interface. This special session aims to highlight quantitative techniques, methodological developments and applications across a range of domains including economic complexity, evolutionary economic geography and innovation studies, urban mobility and planning, and processes on spatial social- and economic networks. In particular, we wish to feature new methodological
advancements specifically developed or tailored for applications in these areas, and novel uses of existing algorithms and tools derived from machine learning and network science.
We welcome submissions on a wide range of topics within these areas. Examples include:

  • Innovative data collections to test theories of economic geography
  • Statistical models from network science to analyze innovative collaborations
  • Machine learning techniques such as NLP to investigate communication in social media
  • Causal analysis of network and other models for economic growth
  • Statistical or hierarchical community detection on networks (e.g. industry or occupation networks)
  • Network based models for industry diversification processes
  • Network resilience models for understanding crises in regions
  • Agent-based models on transaction and social networks for knowledge diffusion
  • Classification of visitation and mobility patterns in cities for urban segregation analyses
  • Prediction of economic and technological progress using ML and GIS techniques

Alshamsi, A., Pinheiro, F. L., & Hidalgo, C. A. (2018). Optimal diversification strategies in the networks of related products and of related research areas. Nature Communications, 9(1), 1-7.

Brummitt, C. D., Gómez-Liévano, A., Hausmann, R., & Bonds, M. H. (2020). Machine-learned patterns suggest that diversification drives economic development. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 17(162), 20190283.

Lengyel, B., Bokányi, E., Di Clemente, R., Kertész, J., & González, M. C. (2020). The role of geography in the complex diffusion of innovations. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-11.

Mealy, P., Farmer, J. D., & Teytelboym, A. (2019). Interpreting economic complexity. Science Advances, 5(1), eaau1705.

Moro, E., Frank, M. R., Pentland, A., Rutherford, A., Cebrian, M., & Rahwan, I. (2021). Universal resilience patterns in labor markets. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-8.

O’Clery, N., Yıldırım, M. A., & Hausmann, R. (2021). Productive Ecosystems and the arrow of development. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-14.

Park, J., Wood, I. B., Jing, E., Nematzadeh, A., Ghosh, S., Conover, M. D., & Ahn, Y. Y. (2019). Global labor flow network reveals the hierarchical organization and dynamics of geo-industrial clusters. Nature Communications, 10(1), 1-10.

Straulino, D., Landman, M. & O’Clery, N. (2021). A bi-directional approach to comparing the modular structure of networks. EPJ Data Science, 10(13).

Tóth, G., Wachs, J., Di Clemente, R., Jakobi, Á., Ságvári, B., Kertész, J., & Lengyel, B. (2021). Inequality is rising where social network segregation interacts with urban topology. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-9.


  • Bocconi University
The deadline for submissions of papers to be presented at GEOINNO2022 has now passed.