Variety, complexity and economic development
In this article authors Alje van Dam and Koen Frenken propose a combinatorial model of economic development.
An economy develops by acquiring new cap-abilities allowing for the production of an ever greater variety of products with an increasing complexity. Taking into account that economies abandon the least complex products as they develop over time, we show that variety first increases and then decreases in the course of economic development. This is consistent with the empirical pattern known as ‘the hump’. Our results question the common association of variety with complexity. We further discuss the implications of our model for future research.
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