Document (#39156)

Author
Hidalgo, C.
Title
Why information grows : the evolution of order, from atoms to economies
Imprint
New York : Basic Books
Year
2015
Pages
xxi, 232 S
Isbn
978-046-504-899-1
Abstract
Why do some nations prosper while others do not? While economists often turn to measures like GDP or per-capita income to answer this question, interdisciplinary theorist Cesar Hidalgo argues that there is a better way to understand economic success. Instead of measuring the money a country makes, he proposes, we can learn more from measuring a country's ability to make complex products--in other words, the ability to turn an idea into an artifact and imagination into capital. In Why Information Grows, Hidalgo combines the seemingly disparate fields of economic development and physics to present this new rubric for economic growth. He argues that viewing development solely in terms of money and politics is too simplistic to provide a true understanding of national wealth. Rather, we should be investigating what makes some countries more capable than others. Complex products--from films to robots, apps to automobiles--are a physical distillation of an economy's knowledge, a measurable embodiment of the education, infrastructure, and capability of an economy. Economic wealth is about applying this knowledge to turn ideas into tangible products, and the more complex these products, the more economic growth a country will experience. Just look at the East Asian countries, he argues, whose rapid rise can be attributed to their ability to manufacture products at all levels of complexity. A radical new interpretation of global economics, Why Information Grows overturns traditional assumptions about wealth and development. In a world where knowledge is quite literally power, Hidalgo shows how we can create societies that are limited by nothing more than their imagination"-- "Why do some nations prosper while others do not? Economists usually turn to measures such as gross domestic product or per capita income to answer this question, but interdisciplinary theorist Cesar Hidalgo argues that we can learn more by measuring a country's ability to make complex products. In Why Information Grows, Hidalgo combines the seemingly disparate fields of economic development and physics to present this new rubric for economic growth. He believes that we should investigate what makes some countries more capable than others. Complex products-from films to robots, apps to automobiles-are a physical distillation of an economy's knowledge, a measurable embodiment of its education, infrastructure, and capability. Economic wealth accrues when applications of this knowledge turn ideas into tangible products; the more complex its products, the more economic growth a country will experience. A radical new interpretation of global economics, Why Information Grows overturns traditional assumptions about the development of economies and the origins of wealth and takes a crucial step toward making economics less the dismal science and more the insightful one."
Theme
Information
LCSH
Information theory in economics
New products
Economic development
Knowledge, Theory of / Economic aspects
Physics
DDC
330.01/154
LCC
HB133 .H6253 2015

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