IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Production Networks and Trade Patterns in East Asia: Regionalization or Globalization?


  • Prema-chandra Athukorala

    (Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, Crawford School of Economics and Government College of Asia and The Pacific Australian National University.)


This paper examines the implications of global production sharing for economic integration in East Asia with emphasis on the behavior of trade flows in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. Although trade in parts and components and final assembly within production networks ("“network trade"”) has generally grown faster than total world trade in manufacturing, the degree of dependence of East Asia on this new form of international specialization is proportionately larger than elsewhere in the world. Network trade has certainly strengthened economic interdependence among countries in the region with the People's Republic of China playing a pivotal role as the premier center of final assembly. However, contrary to popular belief, this has not lessened the dependence of the export dynamism of these countries on the global economy. This inference is basically consistent with the behavior of trade flows following the onset of the global financial crisis. (c)© 2011 The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Prema-chandra Athukorala, 2011. "Production Networks and Trade Patterns in East Asia: Regionalization or Globalization?," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 10(1), pages 65-95, Winter/Sp.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:10:y:2011:i:1:p:65-95

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Judith M. Dean & K. C. Fung & Zhi Wang, 2011. "Measuring Vertical Specialization: The Case of China," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 609-625, September.
    2. Carolyn L. Evans & James Harrigan, 2003. "Distance, time, and specialization," International Finance Discussion Papers 766, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Soloaga, Isidro & Alan Wintersb, L., 2001. "Regionalism in the nineties: what effect on trade?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
    4. Fukunari KIMURA, 2006. "International Production and Distribution Networks in East Asia: Eighteen Facts, Mechanics, and Policy Implications," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 1(2), pages 326-344.
    5. Marcus Noland, 1995. "China and the International Economic System," Working Paper Series WP95-6, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    6. Yung Chul Park & Kwanho Shin, 2009. "Economic Integration and Changes in the Business Cycle in East Asia: Is the Region Decoupling from the Rest of the World?-super-," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 107-140, Winter.
    7. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:10:y:2011:i:1:p:65-95. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kristin Waites). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.