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Measuring the Intangibles: A Metrics for the Economic Complexity of Countries and Products

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS ONE, August 2013
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (82nd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 policy source
4 tweeters
1 Facebook page
1 Wikipedia page
1 Google+ user


62 Dimensions

Readers on

106 Mendeley
2 CiteULike
Measuring the Intangibles: A Metrics for the Economic Complexity of Countries and Products
Published in
PLoS ONE, August 2013
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0070726
Pubmed ID

Matthieu Cristelli, Andrea Gabrielli, Andrea Tacchella, Guido Caldarelli, Luciano Pietronero


We investigate a recent methodology we have proposed to extract valuable information on the competitiveness of countries and complexity of products from trade data. Standard economic theories predict a high level of specialization of countries in specific industrial sectors. However, a direct analysis of the official databases of exported products by all countries shows that the actual situation is very different. Countries commonly considered as developed ones are extremely diversified, exporting a large variety of products from very simple to very complex. At the same time countries generally considered as less developed export only the products also exported by the majority of countries. This situation calls for the introduction of a non-monetary and non-income-based measure for country economy complexity which uncovers the hidden potential for development and growth. The statistical approach we present here consists of coupled non-linear maps relating the competitiveness/fitness of countries to the complexity of their products. The fixed point of this transformation defines a metrics for the fitness of countries and the complexity of products. We argue that the key point to properly extract the economic information is the non-linearity of the map which is necessary to bound the complexity of products by the fitness of the less competitive countries exporting them. We present a detailed comparison of the results of this approach directly with those of the Method of Reflections by Hidalgo and Hausmann, showing the better performance of our method and a more solid economic, scientific and consistent foundation.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 4 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 106 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Italy 3 3%
Netherlands 2 2%
Portugal 2 2%
Brazil 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Luxembourg 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Belgium 1 <1%
Other 1 <1%
Unknown 92 87%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 31 29%
Researcher 20 19%
Student > Master 18 17%
Student > Doctoral Student 11 10%
Professor > Associate Professor 6 6%
Other 20 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Economics, Econometrics and Finance 31 29%
Physics and Astronomy 16 15%
Business, Management and Accounting 12 11%
Unspecified 11 10%
Computer Science 9 8%
Other 27 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 11. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 July 2018.
All research outputs
of 11,880,315 outputs
Outputs from PLoS ONE
of 130,597 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 140,869 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS ONE
of 3,852 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,880,315 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 130,597 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 11.6. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 140,869 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 3,852 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its contemporaries.