Summary of Why Information Grows

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Why Information Grows book summary


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MIT professor César Hidalgo explains that as people gain more knowledge and know-how they create more goods and their national economies expand. He introduces the ways that individuals convey knowledge and know-how and create products that contain information. His fascinating exploration discusses the conversion of information into economic potential. He provides anecdotes about human relations, and offers data and graphs that support his discussion of economics. Hidalgo offers new, theoretical and practical ideas about the economic relationships within networks, industries, communities and nations. getAbstract finds that his insights will intrigue students, professors, corporate leaders, strategists and policy makers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How people use knowledge and know-how to create objects,
  • How such objects or products “crystallize” information,
  • How individuals and networks share information, and
  • How the way a country uses information matters to its potential economic growth.

About the Author

César Hidalgo is a professor at MIT and the director of the Macro Connections group at MIT’s Media Lab. He was a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2012 and one of Wired’s “50 People Who Will Change the World.”



“The Nature of Information”
An economy uses knowledge and know-how to create products. For example, a Bugatti Veyron sports car costs $2.5 million. The value of each car emerges from the information that went into producing it. The information that exists in the car comes from the knowledge...

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