Economics - General

Net imagination exports

Many people talk of countries with net exports as having a good economy and those with net imports as having a less robust economy. However, an interesting book Why Information Grows by C├ęsar Hidalgo talks about a more important feature being the imagination balance of goods and services exported.

One example of a balance of trade that runs opposite to the balance of imagination is that of Chile and Korea…In 2012, Chile exported $4.6 billion worth of products to Korea, mostly refined and unrefined copper. That same year, the exports from Korea to Chile were worth only about $2.5 billion, mostly vehicles and vehicle parts. Chile clearly had a positive trade balance with Korea in 2012. Chile’s imagination balance with Korea, however, was clearly negative, since Chile did not embody much imagination in the goods it exported, but it imported plenty of embodided imagination in the goods it bought.

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