Economic Complexity to Inform Policy

Session organisers:
  • Dario Diodato (European Commission, JRC Sevilla, Directorate B, Spain)
  • Lorenzo Napolitano (European Commission, JRC Sevilla, Directorate B, Spain)
  • Emanuele Pugliese (European Commission, JRC Sevilla, Directorate B, Spain)
  • Andrea Tacchella (European Commission, JRC Sevilla, Directorate B, Spain)

World economies are facing several contemporary transitions spanning from the digital transformation to the transition towards a net zero emission and circular economy, and to the structural transformations driven by the response to the pandemic. Developing technologies, products and solutions for this while having access to finance, resources and human capital equipped with the right skills are amongst the challenges to be overcome in the next decade. To do so while also tackling long-term issues related to social sustainability and cohesion policies between different regions will be even more demanding. From the policy side, a more integrated and proactive approach to industrial, innovation and regional policies is necessary to trigger successful industrial transformation.
The Economic Complexity literature is bringing to policy makers valuable tools in the direction of capturing and measuring local and global capabilities in the task to support and inform the industrial and innovation policy for the coming years. The main advance of Economic Complexity with respect to the earlier evolutionary and institutional literature in this respect is using recent development in network science, machine learning, and complex and dynamical systems to separate the random noise from the underlying signal.
In this special session, we welcome scholars from both academic and institutional background with the aim of fostering the market of ideas. In particular, we will accept research and policy articles on the following topics:

  • Applications of the principles of economic complexity to policy design
  • Discussions on how relatedness affects industrial policies
  • Papers comparing economic complexity to existing policy frameworks (e.g. smart specialisation, cohesion policies)
  • Research papers on economic complexity with strong policy repercussion
  • Growth diagnostic analysis of a country or a region
  • Specific analysis of relevant transitions, like digitalization or green


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