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Product Modularity and the Rise of Global Value Chains: Insights from the Electronics Industry

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  • Ari Van Assche
  • Byron Gangnes

Abstract

In the field of economics, a vast literature has attributed the rise of global value chains to globalization-related forces such as declining costs of transportation, improvements in communications technology, and institutional and policy reforms in developing countries. Through an in-depth review of the industry transformation in the electronics industry, however, we find that an additional relatively unexplored factor is the modularization of electronics products. We analyze the mechanisms through which product modularization may lead to the rise of global value chains and discuss the implications for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ari Van Assche & Byron Gangnes, 2011. "Product Modularity and the Rise of Global Value Chains: Insights from the Electronics Industry," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-64, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2011s-64
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    File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2011s-64.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Langlois, Richard N., 2002. "Modularity in technology and organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 19-37, September.
    2. Carl Bonham & Byron Gangnes & Ari Van Assche, 2007. "Fragmentation and East Asia's information technology trade," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 215-228.
    3. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    4. Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "A macroeconomic perspective on Knowledge Management," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 33-63, March.
    5. Mona Haddad & Ben Shepherd, 2011. "Managing Openness : Trade and Outward-oriented Growth After the Crisis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2283, January.
    6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    7. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
    8. Ari Van Assche & Byron Gangnes, 2010. "Electronics production upgrading: is China exceptional?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 477-482.
    9. Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2000. "Design Rules, Volume 1: The Power of Modularity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262024667, January.
    10. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ram Mudambi, 2008. "Location, control and innovation in knowledge-intensive industries," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(5), pages 699-725, September.
    12. Ornelas, Emanuel & Turner, John L., 2008. "Trade liberalization, outsourcing, and the hold-up problem," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 225-241, January.
    13. Barbara Spencer, 2005. "International outsourcing and incomplete contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1107-1135, November.
    14. Ma, Alyson C. & Van Assche, Ari & Hong, Chang, 2009. "Global production networks and China's processing trade," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 640-654, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Monge-González & Sandro Zolezzi, 2012. "Insertion of Costa Rica in Global Value Chains: A Case Study," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4256, Inter-American Development Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    modularity; global value chains; electronics; upgrading;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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