Modeling international crisis synchronization in the world trade web

Pau Erola*, Albert Díaz-Guilera, Sergio Gómez, Alex Arenas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Trade is a fundamental pillar of economy and a form of social organization. Its empirical characterization at the worldwide scale is represented by the World Trade Web (WTW), the network built upon the trade relationships between the dierent countries. Several scientic studies have focused on the structural characterization of this network, as well as its dynamical properties, since we have registry of the structure of the network at dierent times in history. In this paper we study an abstract scenario for the development of global crises on top of the structure of connections of the WTW. Assuming a cyclic dynamics of national economies and the interaction of dierent countries according to the import-export balances, we are able to investigate, using a simple model of pulse-coupled oscillators, the synchronization phenomenon of crises at the worldwide scale. We focus on the level of synchronization measured by an order parameter at two dierent scales, one for the global system and another one for the mesoscales dened through the topology. We use the WTW network structure to simulate a network of Integrate-and-Fire oscillators for six dierent snapshots between years 1950 and 2000. The results reinforce the idea that globalization accelerates the global synchronization process, and the analysis at a mesoscopic level shows that this synchronization is dierent before and after globalization periods: after globalization, the eect of communities is almost inexistent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
JournalNetworks and Heterogeneous Media
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012


  • Complex networks
  • Integrate-and-fire
  • International trade
  • Synchronization


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling international crisis synchronization in the world trade web'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this