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Title: A complex systems approach to connectivity to international markets
Authors: Calatayud, Maria Agustina
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Improving connectivity is increasingly a topic at the centre of the international trade and transport policy agendas. An examination on available documents and studies in both the policy-making and the academic fields shows that the concept of connectivity has often been defined in different ways, and thus has taken a variety of meanings. This poses the questions: what is freight connectivity?; what are its determinants in the context of international trade? The researcher is not aware of any study that has analysed, in a comprehensive and systematic way, the different perspectives, determinants and measures of connectivity to international markets. Using a mixed-methods approach that includes a systematic literature review encompassing literature in the fields of Transport Engineering and Economics, International Economics, Supply Chain Management, Physics and Transport Geography; a survey and in-depth interviews in three countries; comparative analysis of connectivity metrics in a variety of fields; and network analysis of over 100 networks, this Dissertation contributes to fill this gap by providing: (i) a complex systems approach to connectivity to international markets; (ii) a comprehensive definition of connectivity to international markets which encompasses the different factors that influence it; and (iii) a novel method to assess connectivity to international markets using network analysis. Further contributions of this research include insights on the multi-layered characteristics of both international trade flows and its support system; the perspective of emerging economies; and the study of a region – the Americas – mostly overlooked by the literature on complex systems applied to trade and transport networks. It is expected that a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive and more precise understanding and assessment of the determinants of connectivity will contribute to identify and design more effective policies to address barriers impeding the fast, smooth access to international markets, as well as guide future multi-disciplinary research and analysis in academia and policy-making.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering

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