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Vertical Specialization, Global Value Chains and the changing Geography of Trade: the Portuguese Rubber and Plastics Industry Case

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  • João Carlos Lopes
  • Ana Santos

Abstract

The growing fragmentation of production in the last decades has changed the geography, and dynamics, of trade. It is very important, especially for small and open economies, a good position in regional and global value chains (GVC). The necessary increase in imports, namely of intermediate inputs, that this positioning implies must be accompanied by an adequate increase of exports, generating a substantial amount of domestic value added. In this paper, an empirical analysis is made of the changes in the geography of imports and exports of Portuguese rubber and plastics industry, as well as the growing vertical specialization of this sector, both with direct and total measures, in the period 1995-2011. To put the main trends in perspective, a comparison will be made with some northern and southern EU countries, the main trade partners of Portugal in this industry, and in fact in all the others. The rubber and plastics industry is a good case study in the context of GVC analysis, given the strong proportion of intermediate inputs in its output and trade.

Suggested Citation

  • João Carlos Lopes & Ana Santos, 2015. "Vertical Specialization, Global Value Chains and the changing Geography of Trade: the Portuguese Rubber and Plastics Industry Case," Working Papers Department of Economics 2015/12, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp122015
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    Keywords

    Vertical specialization; Global value chains; Rubber and plastics; Portugal;

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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