Exploring the True Relationship Among Countries from Flow Data of International Trade and Migration

  • Kedan Wang
  • Xiaomeng Li
  • Xi Wang
  • Qinghua ChenEmail author
  • Jianzhang BaoEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Complexity book series (SPCOM)


The relationship among various entities in the socio-economic systems is an important part of complexity research. Here we combine the general gravity model and minimum reverse flows idea to propose a general framework to reveal comprehensive relationship among entities with intimacy and hierarchy based on flow data among entities. Besides, we apply this method to comprehensively analyze international trade network and population migration network. Based on the empirical flow data, we calculate the effective distance among countries and rank or grade of countries, which could reveal the true relationship among them. The countries in global trade are clustered but not hierarchical, while the relationship among countries in international migration is just the opposite. They are hierarchical and not clustered.


Relationship among countries General gravity model Minimum reverse flow International trade International migration 



We appreciate comments and helpful suggestions from Prof. Yiming Ding, Jiang Zhang, Hongbo Cai, and Dr. An Zeng. Thank Ms. Liqian Lang for some help in data processing. This work was supported by Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (71701018) and (61673070), National Social Sciences Fund, China (14BSH024), and Beijing Normal University Cross-Discipline Project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Systems ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of GovernmentBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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