The Netherlands has defined a number of "top sectors" of the economy for the purposes of its industrial policy. Using the New Economic Metrics, we investigate the relative competitiveness of these sectors globally.

Adopting a framework in which products are clustered in sectors, we compare the different branches of the export of the Netherlands, taking into account the time evolution of their volumes, complexities and competitivenesses in the years 1995–2010.

The High Tech and Life Sciences sectors share high quality products but low competitiveness; the opposite is true for Horticulture and Energy.We analyze in detail the Chemicals sector, finding a declining global complexity which is mostly driven by a shift towards products of lower quality. A growth forecast is also provided. In light of our results we suggest a differentiation in policy between the country’s self-defined industrial sectors.

Zaccaria A, Cristelli M, Kupers R, Tacchella A, Pietronero L A case study for a new metrics for economic complexity- The Netherlands J Econ Interact Coord DOI 10.1007/s11403-015-0145-9