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A case study for a new metrics for economic complexity: The Netherlands

Zaccaria A., Cristelli M., Kupers R., Tacchella A., Pietronero L.


We present a new approach for the economic analysis of countries, which we apply to the case of the Netherlands. Our study is based on a novel way to quantify exported products’ complexity and countries’ fitness which has been recently introduced in the literature. Adopting a framework in which products are clustered in sectors, we compare the different branches of the export of the Netherlands, taking into account the time evolution of their volumes, complexities and competitivenesses in the years 1995–2010. The High Tech and Life Sciences sectors share high quality products but low competitiveness; the opposite is true for Horticulture and Energy. We analyze in detail the Chemicals sector, finding a declining global complexity which is mostly driven by a shift towards products of lower quality. A growth forecast is also provided. In light of our results we suggest a differentiation in policy between the country’s self-defined industrial sectors.

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