Empirical Confirmation of Creative Destruction from World Trade Data

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Empirical Confirmation of Creative Destruction from World Trade Data

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Title: Empirical Confirmation of Creative Destruction from World Trade Data
Author: Klimek, Peter; Hausmann, Ricardo; Thurner, Stefan

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Klimek, Peter, Ricardo Hausmann, and Stefan Thurner. 2012. Empirical Confirmation of Creative Destruction from World Trade Data. PLoS ONE 7(6): e38924.
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Abstract: We show that world trade network datasets contain empirical evidence that the dynamics of innovation in the world economy indeed follows the concept of creative destruction, as proposed by J.A. Schumpeter more than half a century ago. National economies can be viewed as complex, evolving systems, driven by a stream of appearance and disappearance of goods and services. Products appear in bursts of creative cascades. We find that products systematically tend to co-appear, and that product appearances lead to massive disappearance events of existing products in the following years. The opposite–disappearances followed by periods of appearances–is not observed. This is an empirical validation of the dominance of cascading competitive replacement events on the scale of national economies, i.e., creative destruction. We find a tendency that more complex products drive out less complex ones, i.e., progress has a direction. Finally we show that the growth trajectory of a country’s product output diversity can be understood by a recently proposed evolutionary model of Schumpeterian economic dynamics.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038924
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9905685
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