The Growth Lab

The Growth Lab is an academic research program run out of Harvard’s Center for International Development (CID). The Growth Lab explores the mysteries of economic growth—asking why certain countries grow when others do not, and why poor countries are unable to achieve sustained growth. Through its research, the Growth Lab identifies growth constraints and designs solutions to address them.

The Growth Lab created The Atlas online as an interactive tool to visualize and disseminate its research on Economic Complexity. In pursuit of its goals, the Growth Lab has built theories based on two sets of ideas: Economic Complexity and Growth Diagnostics. Economic Complexity argues that development involves not just the increase of output in existing production, but also the increase in the diversity and complexity of what is produced. Growth Diagnostics identifies an economy’s growth constraints and suggests that countries adopt a diagnostic approach when tackling difficulties, as opposed to a set of global best practices. The Growth Lab’s theories are transforming the way in which the development community and major international institutions understand the growth process and industrial development.

In addition to The Atlas online, the Growth Lab has developed the Aid Explorer, an online tool that facilitates better global aid coordination. Where there once were only a handful of development agencies, thousands have now emerged. The system that connects donor agencies, recipient countries and development challenges is extremely complex and cannot be managed with a top-down approach. The Aid Explorer relates any aid organization or development issue with a specific country and determines whether the agencies with an interest in that particular country also have an interest in the issue. Users can also rank organizations in terms of how well they match the priorities of the countries they work with.

Additional academic research completed by the Growth Lab can be found here.

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The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity

The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity is a publication authored by Ricardo Hausmann and Cesar A. Hidalgo. The study’s authors applied the theory of Economic Complexity to rank 128 countries in terms of production diversity and to project each country’s likelihood for growth by 2020. The Atlas of Economic Complexity includes a visual “product map” for each country, showing its particular export basket, how those exports correspond to its economic complexity ranking and offers predictions for national growth trajectories and possibilities for product diversification.

Download Part 1 of the latest edition of The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity with new 2011 data.

For more information on the latest edition of the book go to:

The Atlas of Economic complexity is a powerful interactive tool that enables users to visualize a country's total trade, track how these dynamics change over time and explore growth opportunities for more than a hundred countries worldwide. The Atlas of Economic complexity is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Current version: 1.0.8.
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