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Characterizing Global Value Chains: Production Length and Upstreamness

Listed author(s):
  • Zhi Wang
  • Shang-Jin Wei
  • Xinding Yu
  • Kunfu Zhu

We develop a new set of country-sector level indicators of Global Value Chains (GVCs) characteristics in terms of average production length, and relative “upstreamness” on a production network, which we argue are better than the existing ones in the literature. We distinguish production activities into four types: those whose value added is both generated and absorbed within the country, those whose value-added crosses borders only once for consumption, those whose value added crosses borders only once for production, and those whose value added crosses borders more than once. Based on such an accounting framework, we further decompose total production length into different segments. Using these measures, we characterize cross-country production sharing patterns and their evolution for 56 sectors and 44 countries over 2000-2014. While the production chain has become longer for the world as a whole, there are interesting variations across countries and sectors.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23261.

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Date of creation: Mar 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23261
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  1. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2013. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2127-2204, November.
  2. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2014. "Tracing Value-Added and Double Counting in Gross Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 459-494, February.
  3. Laura Alfaro & Pol Antras & Davin Chor & Paola Conconi, 2015. "Internalizing Global Value Chains: A Firm-Level Analysis," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2015-29, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. 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.
  5. Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei & Kunfu Zhu, 2013. "Quantifying International Production Sharing at the Bilateral and Sector Levels," NBER Working Papers 19677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Erik Dietzenbacher & Isidoro Romero, 2007. "Production Chains in an Interregional Framework: Identification by Means of Average Propagation Lengths," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 30(4), pages 362-383, October.
  7. Johnson, Robert C. & Noguera, Guillermo, 2012. "Accounting for intermediates: Production sharing and trade in value added," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 224-236.
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