The European Physical Journal B

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 159–164 | Cite as

Interplay between topology and dynamics in the World Trade Web

  • D. GarlaschelliEmail author
  • T. Di Matteo
  • T. Aste
  • G. Caldarelli
  • M. I. Loffredo
Topical Issue on Physics in Society


We present an empirical analysis of the network formed by the trade relationships between all world countries, or World Trade Web (WTW). Each (directed) link is weighted by the amount of wealth flowing between two countries, and each country is characterized by the value of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By analysing a set of year-by-year data covering the time interval 1950–2000, we show that the dynamics of all GDP values and the evolution of the WTW (trade flow and topology) are tightly coupled. The probability that two countries are connected depends on their GDP values, supporting recent theoretical models relating network topology to the presence of a `hidden' variable (or fitness). On the other hand, the topology is shown to determine the GDP values due to the exchange between countries. This leads us to a new framework where the fitness value is a dynamical variable determining, and at the same time depending on, network topology in a continuous feedback.


89.75.Hc Networks and genealogical trees 89.65.-s Social and economic systems 87.23.Ge Dynamics of social systems 02.50.-r Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Garlaschelli
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. Di Matteo
    • 2
  • T. Aste
    • 2
  • G. Caldarelli
    • 3
  • M. I. Loffredo
    • 4
  1. 1.Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità di SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Applied MathematicsResearch School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.CNR-INFM and Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”RomaItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Scienze Matematiche ed InformaticheUniversità di SienaSienaItaly

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