Sustainability | Special Issue : Economic Complexity and Sustainability

During the last decade, economic development efforts have been marked by both a return of industrial policy [1–3] and the growing need to consider social and environmental sustainability [4–7]. At the intersection of both of these topics, we find important policy efforts, such as Europe’s Green Deal [8], and also a growing academic literature on economic complexity [9,10], green growth [11], green innovation [12,13], and sustainability. On the one hand, this literature is exploring how the product space [3] and the principle of relatedness [14] can facilitate an economy’s transition into green products [15–18]. On the other hand, this literature is exploring the connection between environmental sustainability and the complexity of an economy [19–22]. In fact, evidence thus far shows that economies tend to reduce emissions when they become sufficiently complex [21–23], and also, that higher complexity economies tend to experience lower levels of income inequality [7] and higher levels of human development [24].

The purpose of this Special Issue is to stimulate, promote, and gather research at the intersection between environmental sustainability, social sustainability, and economic complexity. We are looking for contributions exploring these and other topics:


  • Relatedness and the development of green products/jobs/industries;
  • Sustainability and global value chains;
  • Economic complexity, environmental sustainability, and the environmental Kuznets curve;
  • Economic complexity, inequality, and sustainable human development;
  • Green Growth;
  • Green Innovation.