Which is the direction of Iran's development? Related or unrelated diversification?

Document Type : Research Paper



Although the analysis of paths and factors of countries development has always been a field of interest for researchersAlthough the analysis of the causes, factors and  features of the countries’ development pathways has always been a field of interest for researchers, only in recent years, researchers have sought to quantify the distinctive attributes of national development pathways. One of the innovative approaches developed to this end, is entitled “Economic Complexity Atlas”. Based on the assumption that most of the developed countries have pursuit the pathway of related diversification for economic growth, that is, moving towards industries similar to their existing industries, it maintains that, there are a few countries which have taken advantage of unrelated diversity for their development. The question is what has been the development path of Iran? Using related or unrelated diversification? To answer these questions, the present article examines 92 countries and 727 products from 1962 to 2016, to, identify, first, the unrelated development paths of the countries and second, through analytical comparison, to gain a better understanding of the path pursued by Iran. The results showed that the focus on industries such as the oil and mining industry, which is one of the primary industries on the one hand, and the small number of unrelated products on the other hand, has caused Iran to be trapped in the industries that rely mainly on natural resources; therefore, it cannot move toward the path with more diverse products.


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