The time and frequency of unrelated diversification

Flávio L. Pinheiro, Dominik Hartmann, Ron Boschma, César A. Hidalgo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Economic diversification—the process by which locations enter new economic activities—is known to be a combination of related and unrelated diversification. Related diversification is—on average—more frequent, but unrelated diversification is nevertheless considered important to avoid economic lock-in. Here, we study the frequency and timing of unrelated diversification using two international trade datasets at the country level. We find that related diversification is more frequent for countries at low levels of development but becomes less frequent as countries climb the complexity ladder. These findings contribute to our understanding of the role of relatedness in the diversification of economies at different levels of complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104323
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number8
Early online date21 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • Diversification
  • Economic complexity
  • Economic development
  • Relatedness
  • Unrelated diversification


Dive into the research topics of 'The time and frequency of unrelated diversification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this