- A New Trichotomous Measure of World-system Position Using the International Trade Network
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- by Beckfield, Jason; Clark, Rob
- Snyder and Kick’s (1979) measure of world-system position continues to serve as the
premier trichotomous network indicator of a state’s location in the capitalist world economy.
In this study, we identify several problems with this orthodox measure concerning its
age, informal construction, and incorporation of inappropriate networks. We introduce a
trichotomous network measure of world-system position that addresses these concerns,
applying Borgatti and Everett’s (1999) core/periphery model to a three-tiered partition
using international trade data. Our trichotomous measure of the trade network identifies
an expanded core, consisting of an old orthodox core joined by a set of upwardly mobile
states. We estimate the effect of world-system position on economic growth and find
that our trade measure significantly outperforms Snyder and Kick’s orthodox measure.
When controlling for human capital, the strong effects of our trade measure persist, while
the weaker effects estimated by the orthodox measure largely disappear. Moreover, our
models with human capital reveal that states economically converge within world-system
zones, while continuing to diverge between zones.
- Publication Type: Published Paper
- Published Date: July 2009
- Field of Interest: International Economics
- "A New Trichotomous Measure of World-system Position Using the International Trade Network." International Journal of Comparative Sociology 50, no. 1 (2009): 5–38