In Why Information Grows, rising star Cesar Hidalgo offers a
radical interpretation of global economics What is economic growth?
And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places?
Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on
institutions, geography, finances, and psychology. But MIT
professor Cesar Hidalgo argues that in order to fully grasp the
nature of economic growth we need to transcend the social sciences
and turn to the science of information, networks and complexity.
The growth of economies, he explains, is deeply connected with the
growth of order - or information. At first glance, the universe
seems hostile to order. Thermodynamics dictates that over time,
order will disappear. But thermodynamics also has loopholes that
promote the growth of information in pockets. Our cities are such
pockets where information grows, but they are not all the same. For
every Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and London, there are dozens of places
with underdeveloped economies. Why does the US economy outstrip
Brazil's, and Brazil's that of Chad? Why did the technology
corridor along Boston's Route 128 languish while Silicon Valley
blossomed?In each case, the key is how people, companies, and the
networks they form process information - it is all about their
knowledge, knowhow and imagination. As Hidalgo compellingly shows,
economies are made of networks of people and society is a
collective computer. The problem of economic development is in fact
the problem of making these networks more powerful. 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.