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Regular version of the site

Article

On measuring complexity in a post‑industrial economy: the ecosystem’s approach

Quality and Quantity. 2020. No. 54. P. 197-212.
Ivanova I., Smorodinskaya N., Leydesdorff L.

We propose the Modified Economic Complexity Index (MECI) as a possible refinement to
two relevant complexity measures: the Economic Complexity index (ECI) and the Fitness
and Complexity index (FCI). Both ECI and FCI are used for the evaluation of competitive
advantages and growth potentials of countries. ECI and FCI assume bipartite countrynetwork
data, whereas MECI provides an ecosystem-based design using technology as a
third dimension. We test the three complexity measures with respect to Balassa’s Revealed
Comparative Advantage index (RCA) and the newly introduced Revealed Effectiveness
Advantage index (REA) using empirical data for 41 countries. Regression analysis shows
that the predictive power of the three measures with respect to GDP per capita growth
improves using the REA index instead of RCA. MECI improves the prediction when compared
with ECI and FCI. However, the results for the three measures converge in terms of
initial diversity scores and GDP per capita correlation in the case of using the REA index.
MECI is based on an eco-system’s approach and can therefore be further developed into
simulations.