The Scrabble Theory of Economic Development

Complexity is an idea I’ve been thinking a lot about ever since reading Aid on the Edge of Chaos. Since then I’ve been discovering the rich learning being done in this area, and specifically as it relates to how countries develop. Before this discovery (or should I say recognition) of complexity thinking, stating the fact that the world is a complex place was where my conversations and thinking ended. Now, more and more, this is where I start my mental analysis.

Scrabble Pieces

In my investigation into the existing literature of studying complex systems, I came across the work of Ricardo Hausmman who is a complexity scholar and the director of Harvard’s Center for International Development. Here’s a video of Hausmman giving a short (30 minute) presentation speaking about the puzzle of development, the implications of economic complexity, and the Scrabble theory of economic development. It is really important (and fascinating) stuff for anyone working with the goal of developing economies. I’m begging you, PLEASE WATCH, for the good of humanity!

For even more on complexity and development listen to Owen Barder.