Cesar A. Hidalgo is the director of the Collective Learning group at the MIT Media Lab and an Associate Professor at MIT.

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Recent Projects and Papers

Computer Visions Uncovers Predictors of Physical Urban Change (2017) In this 2017 PNAS paper we develop a computer vision method to measure physical change in cities using street-level imagery.  We find that both education and population density predict improvements in neighborhood infrastructure, in support of theories of human capital agglomeration, and that improvement is more likely in neighborhoods closer to both city centers and other physically attractive neighborhoods.

Collective Learning in China's Regional Economic Development (2017). This paper looks at the development of industries in Chinese provinces and shows that the probability that an industry develops depends on the number of related industries present in a province and the presence of neighboring provinces that are competitive at that industry.

Linking Economic Complexity, Institutions, and Income Inequality (2017), World Development, 93, 75-93. This paper documents a strong and robust correlation between economic complexity and income inequality, and argues that a country's level of income inequality is bounded by its productive structure.

IN MY SHOES (2017), In My Shoes is an eight episode video series documenting the personal and professional life of professor Hidalgo. The series was filmed in Washington, Riyadh, Portland, Switzerland, Monterrey, and Paris, and also includes an episode showing the launch of DataUSA and the Media Lab members event.

Reunification of Germany's Research Network (2017). With Bogang Jun, we study the reunification of  Germany's research collaboration network. We find that reintegration was initially fast but then stagnated at an intermediate level. Also, we find that the East-West balance of a field prior to reunification correlates with a fields subsequent integration, meaning that fields that were neither East or West dominant prior to 1990 reunited faster. 

BIO

César A. Hidalgo leads the Collective Learning group at The MIT Media Lab (ex Macro Connections) and is also an Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT. Hidalgo's work focuses on collective learning. That is, the learning that takes place in teams, organizations, cities, and nations. In his lab he develops analytical tools to improve our understanding of how collective learning works, and also, he develops data visualization and analysis tools designed to improve collective learning within organizations and nations. Hidalgo's academic publications have been cited nearly 10,000 times and his visualizations have received more than 100 million views. Hidalgo is the author of Why Information Grows (Basic Books, 2015), the co-author of The Atlas of Economic Complexity (MIT Press, 2014), and a co-founder of Datawheel LLC. He lives in Somerville Massachusetts with his wife Anna and their daughter Iris.

 

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