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GVC centrality and productivity: Are hubs key to firm performance?

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  • Chiara Criscuolo
  • Jonathan Timmis

Abstract

This paper uses “centrality” metrics to reflect the changing structure of Global Value Chains (GVCs), contrasting central hubs and peripheral countries and sectors, and examine how these changes impact firm productivity. Using cross-country firm-level data from ORBIS, the paper finds that changing position within GVCs can play a role in the catch up of firms, but the results are heterogeneous across firms and countries. Firstly, becoming more central is associated with faster productivity growth of smaller firms, nonfrontier businesses, and of firms in smaller economies and in post-2004 EU member countries. And these correlations weaken with firm size and with proximity to the frontier, such that when one ignores firm heterogeneity and only considers average effects, there is no correlation for the average firms in the data. Secondly, the (centrality weighted) average productivity of buyers matters for the productivity of firms in our data overall, however this is particularly true for firms in large economies, for non-frontier and for smaller firms. The policy environment, such as flexible labour markets, better access to finance, stronger contract enforcement and simplified export procedures, appears to be important in translating the changing structure of GVCs into faster productivity growth of these non-frontier firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiara Criscuolo & Jonathan Timmis, 2018. "GVC centrality and productivity: Are hubs key to firm performance?," OECD Productivity Working Papers 14, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaac:14-en
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1787/56453da1-en
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    centrality; firms; global value chains; network analysis; Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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