Hyejin Youn

Assistant Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Assistant professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO).

How do we, humans, understand the world: categorize and accumulate our knowledge, and thereby innovate idea, culture, and technologies? Is there any universal mechanism that governs such innovation process that eventually generates both social and economic wealth across different societies? A common conceptualization of innovation in both the biological and socio-economic domains sees it as an adaptive process of recombinant search over a space of configurational possibilities. I develop a mathematical framework for recombinant search in the space of configurational possibilities supported strongly by empirical data. The better we understand the mechanism of innovation the better we understand the mechanism of wealth creation.

Research goals: Develop a mathematical framework for economic growth through innovation and tacit knowledge accumulation based strongly on empirical data; Understand universality in the way humans categorizes the world, accumulate knowledge, and innovate new technologies. 

Fields: PhD and BA in Statistical Physics at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; Research fellow at the Mathematical Institute at University of Oxford; Institute for New Economic Thinking; applied mathematics, physics, network theory, urban scaling theory, urban economics, urban geography, knowledge spillover, linguistics, lexical semantics, innovation, science of science, economic growth theory; research fellow at Santa Fe Institute and Harvard Kennedy School.