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Mapping integrative trade: conceptualising and measuring global value chains


  • Timothy J. Sturgeon


The concept of Global Value Chains (GVCs) provides a pragmatic and parsimonious framework as we seek answers to questions about the dynamic organisation of global industries. In this paper, I discuss the evolution of GVC, the framework, especially the motivations for supplementing the 'buyer-driven' and 'producer-driven' modes of Global Commodity Chain (GCC) governance developed by Gary Gereffi in the 1990s with an industry-neutral, non-empirical framework. I go on to briefly present the features of the GVC governance framework, and lay out its interdisciplinary theoretical underpinnings. I then provide more detail on the most novel form of GVC governance, value chain modularity. Finally, I point out the need to develop new metrics to map GVCs and propose a generic classification of business functions to accomplish this.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Sturgeon, 2008. "Mapping integrative trade: conceptualising and measuring global value chains," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(3), pages 237-257.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijtlid:v:1:y:2008:i:3:p:237-257

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo & Ronde, Thomas, 2001. "Foreign direct investment and spillovers through workers' mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 205-222, February.
    2. Richard Disney & Jonathan Haskel & Ylva Heden, 2003. "Restructuring and productivity growth in uk manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 666-694, July.
    3. Anabel Marin & Martin Bell, 2006. "Technology spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): the active role of MNC subsidiaries in Argentina in the 1990s," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 678-697.
    4. Takii, Sadayuki, 2005. "Productivity spillovers and characteristics of foreign multinational plants in Indonesian manufacturing 1990-1995," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 521-542, April.
    5. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
    6. Peri, Giovanni & Urban, Dieter, 2006. "Catching-up to foreign technology? Evidence on the "Veblen-Gerschenkron" effect of foreign investments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-98, January.
    7. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    8. Gorg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2001. "Multinational Companies and Productivity Spillovers: A Meta-analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages 723-739, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Flor Brown-Grossman & Lilia Domínguez-Villalobos, 2012. "Can Mexico Set Up in the Aerospace and the Software and IT Global Value Chains as a High-Value-Added Player?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4265, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Riccardo Crescenzi & Kerwin Datu & Simona Iammarino, 2016. "European Cities and Foreign Investment Networks," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1616, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jul 2016.
    3. Crescenzi, Riccardo & Pietrobelli, Carlo & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2012. "Innovation drivers, value chains and the geography of multinational firms in European regions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 53193, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Riccardo Crescenzi & Carlo Pietrobelli & Roberta Rabellotti, 2014. "Innovation drivers, value chains and the geography of multinational corporations in Europe," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(6), pages 1053-1086.
    5. Martin Borowiecki & Bernhard Dachs & Doris Hanzl-Weiss & Steffen Kinkel & Johannes Pöschl & Magdolna Sass & Thomas Christian Schmall & Robert Stehrer & Andrea Szalavetz, 2012. "Global Value Chains and the EU Industry," wiiw Research Reports 383, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    6. Maria Chiarvesio & Eleonora Maria & Stefano Micelli, 2013. "Sourcing from Northern and Southern Countries: The Global Value Chain Approach Applied to Italian SMEs," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 20(3), pages 389-404, November.


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