The relatedness between a country or a firm and a product is a measure of the feasibility of that economic activity. As such, it is a driver for investments at a private and institutional level. Traditionally, relatedness is measured using networks derived by country-level co-occurrences of product pairs, that is counting how many countries export both. In this work, we compare networks and machine learning algorithms trained not only on country-level data, but also on firms, which is something not much studied due to the low availability of firm-level data. We quantitatively compare the different measures of relatedness, by using them to forecast the exports at the country and firm level, assuming that more related products have a higher likelihood to be exported in the future. Our results show that relatedness is scale dependent: the best assessments are obtained by using machine learning on the same typology of data one wants to predict. Moreover, we found that while relatedness measures based on country data are not suitable for firms, firm-level data are very informative also for the development of countries. In this sense, models built on firm data provide a better assessment of relatedness. We also discuss the effect of using parameter optimization and community detection algorithms to identify clusters of related companies and products, finding that a partition into a higher number of blocks decreases the computational time while maintaining a prediction performance well above the network-based benchmarks.

Machine Learning to Assess Relatedness: The Advantage of Using Firm-Level Data / Albora, Giambattista; Zaccaria, Andrea. - In: COMPLEXITY. - ISSN 1099-0526. - 2022:(2022), pp. 1-12. [10.1155/2022/2095048]

Machine Learning to Assess Relatedness: The Advantage of Using Firm-Level Data

Giambattista Albora
Primo
;
2022

Abstract

The relatedness between a country or a firm and a product is a measure of the feasibility of that economic activity. As such, it is a driver for investments at a private and institutional level. Traditionally, relatedness is measured using networks derived by country-level co-occurrences of product pairs, that is counting how many countries export both. In this work, we compare networks and machine learning algorithms trained not only on country-level data, but also on firms, which is something not much studied due to the low availability of firm-level data. We quantitatively compare the different measures of relatedness, by using them to forecast the exports at the country and firm level, assuming that more related products have a higher likelihood to be exported in the future. Our results show that relatedness is scale dependent: the best assessments are obtained by using machine learning on the same typology of data one wants to predict. Moreover, we found that while relatedness measures based on country data are not suitable for firms, firm-level data are very informative also for the development of countries. In this sense, models built on firm data provide a better assessment of relatedness. We also discuss the effect of using parameter optimization and community detection algorithms to identify clusters of related companies and products, finding that a partition into a higher number of blocks decreases the computational time while maintaining a prediction performance well above the network-based benchmarks.
2022
relatedness; economic complexity; machine learning; industry specialization; complex networks
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Machine Learning to Assess Relatedness: The Advantage of Using Firm-Level Data / Albora, Giambattista; Zaccaria, Andrea. - In: COMPLEXITY. - ISSN 1099-0526. - 2022:(2022), pp. 1-12. [10.1155/2022/2095048]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1651642
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