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Global Value Chains and Technological Capabilities: A Framework to Study Learning and Innovation in Developing Countries

  • Andrea Morrison
  • Carlo Pietrobelli
  • Roberta Rabellotti

This paper presents a critical review of the global value chain (GVC) literature in light of the “technological capabilities” approach to innovation in less-developed countries (LDCs). Participation in GVC is beneficial for firms in LDCs, which are bound to source technology internationally. However, the issues of learning and technological efforts at the firm level remain largely hidden in the GVC literature. We propose a shift in the empirical and theoretical agenda, arguing that research should integrate the analysis of the endogenous process of technological capability development, including specific firm-level efforts, and of the mechanisms allowing knowledge to flow within and between different global value chains into the GVC literature.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 39-58

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:39-58
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  1. Meyer-Stamer, Jorg, 1998. "Path dependence in regional development: Persistence and change in three industrial clusters in Santa Catarina, Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1495-1511, August.
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  6. Palpacuer, Florence & Gibbon, Peter & Thomsen, Lotte, 2005. "New Challenges for Developing Country Suppliers in Global Clothing Chains: A Comparative European Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 409-430, March.
  7. Bair, Jennifer & Gereffi, Gary, 2001. "Local Clusters in Global Chains: The Causes and Consequences of Export Dynamism in Torreon's Blue Jeans Industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1885-1903, November.
  8. R. Kaplinsky, 2000. "Globalisation and Unequalisation: What Can Be Learned from Value Chain Analysis?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 117-146.
  9. Kaplinsky, Raphael & Morris, Mike & Readman, Jeff, 2002. "The Globalization of Product Markets and Immiserizing Growth: Lessons From the South African Furniture Industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
  10. Bell, Martin & Albu, Michael, 1999. "Knowledge Systems and Technological Dynamism in Industrial Clusters in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1715-1734, September.
  11. Lall, Sanjaya, 1992. "Technological capabilities and industrialization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 165-186, February.
  12. Justin Barnes & Raphael Kaplinsky, 2000. "Globalization and the Death of the Local Firm? The Automobile Components Sector in South Africa," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(9), pages 797-812.
  13. Caniels, M. & Romijn, H., 2001. "Firm-level knowledge accumulation and regional dynamics," Working Papers 02.02, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
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