IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Vertical Trade, Trade Costs and FDI


  • Sébastien Miroudot


  • Alexandros Ragoussis



Firms find advantages in sourcing inputs from abroad and in fragmenting their production process. On average, vertical trade represents about one third of total trade among OECD countries. This report describes and illustrates new firm strategies of vertical specialisation and explores the policy implications of new patterns of trade and FDI. It is in services industries that vertical trade has increased the most in recent years. While vertical trade seems to respond to the same determinants as the rest of exports and imports, distance-related trade costs play a more important role in explaining the volume of bilateral trade flows resulting from vertical specialisation. Distance-related costs have a lower impact on foreign direct investment and sales of foreign affiliates but there is a complementary relationship between trade and FDI. Vertical specialisation networks have created new challenges for trade policymakers. In particular, growth of bilateral exchanges between countries depends increasingly on barriers to trade and investment in the rest of the world. Moreover, the impact of a country’s own trade barriers on domestic firms is significant in the context of vertical specialisation. The analysis stresses the importance of multilateral negotiations for trade and investment liberalisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Sébastien Miroudot & Alexandros Ragoussis, 2009. "Vertical Trade, Trade Costs and FDI," OECD Trade Policy Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:traaab:89-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippa Dee, 2007. "East Asian Economic Integration and its Impact on Future Growth," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 405-423, March.
    2. de Sousa, José & Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2012. "Market access in global and regional trade," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1037-1052.
    3. Jacob Wanjala Musila, 2005. "The Intensity of Trade Creation and Trade Diversion in COMESA, ECCAS and ECOWAS: A Comparative Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(1), pages 117-141, March.
    4. Jong-Wha Lee & Innwon Park, 2005. "Free Trade Areas in East Asia: Discriminatory or Non-discriminatory?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 21-48, January.
    5. Won W. Koo & P. Lynn Kennedy & Anatoliy Skripnitchenko, 2006. "Regional Preferential Trade Agreements: Trade Creation and Diversion Effects ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(3), pages 408-415.
    6. Robert J. R. Elliott & Kengo Ikemoto, 2004. "AFTA and the Asian Crisis: Help or Hindrance to ASEAN Intra-Regional Trade?," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 1-23, March.
    7. Richard Baldwin & Daria Taglioni, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," NBER Working Papers 12516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. Guillaume Gaulier & Sébastien Jean & Deniz Ünal-Kesenci, 2004. "Regionalism and the Regionalisation of International Trade," Working Papers 2004-16, CEPII research center.
    10. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    11. Donny Tang, 2005. "Effects of the Regional Trading Arrangements on Trade: Evidence from the NAFTA, ANZCER and ASEAN Countries, 1989 - 2000," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 241-265.
    12. John Gilbert & Robert Scollay & Bijit Bora, 2011. "Assessing Regional Trading Arrangements in the Asia-Pacific," Working Papers 2001-20, Utah State University, Department of Economics.
    13. Anna Maria Mayda & Chad Steinberg, 2009. "Do South-South trade agreements increase trade? Commodity-level evidence from COMESA," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1361-1389, November.
    15. Sawkut Rojid, 2006. "COMESA trade potential: a gravity approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(14), pages 947-951.
    16. Ghosh, Sucharita & Yamarik, Steven, 2004. "Are regional trading arrangements trade creating?: An application of extreme bounds analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 369-395, July.
    17. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
    18. Carrere, Celine, 2006. "Revisiting the effects of regional trade agreements on trade flows with proper specification of the gravity model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 223-247, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rômulo Cunha Corrêa, 2012. "Integración productiva en América del Sur: evidencias sobre la especialización vertical," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL CARIBE 010265, UNIVERSIDAD DEL NORTE.
    2. repec:ilo:ilowps:485511 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Escaith, Hubert & Lindenberg, Nannette & Miroudot, Sébastien, 2010. "International supply chains and trade elasticity in times of global crisis," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2010-08, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    4. De Backer, Koen & Miroudot, Sébastien, 2014. "Mapping global value chains," Libros de la CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 37176, March.
    5. Seref Saygili & Cengiz Cihan & Cihan Yalcin & Turknur Hamsici, 2010. "Turkiye Imalat Sanayiin Ithalat Yapisi," Working Papers 1002, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    6. Yilmaz Akyüz, 2012. "The Staggering Rise of the South?," Working Papers 2012/3, Turkish Economic Association.
    7. Escaith, Hubert, 2009. "Trade Collapse, Trade Relapse and Global Production Networks: Supply Chains in the Great Recession," MPRA Paper 18433, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Markus Kelle, 2012. "Crossing Industry Borders: German Manufacturers as Services Exporters," wiiw Working Papers 92, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    9. Giancarlo Cor� & Marco Giansoldati & Mario Volpe, 2011. "Vertical Specialisation and Regional Trade Integration. A Study on Italy and Northern African Countries," Working Papers 2011_01, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    10. Saygılı, Hülya & Saygılı, Mesut, 2011. "Structural changes in exports of an emerging economy: Case of Turkey," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 342-360.
    11. Xiao Jiang & William Milberg, 2012. "Vertical specialization and industrial upgrading: a preliminary note," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series ctg-2012-10, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    12. Alyson C. Ma & Ari Van Assche, 2012. "Is East Asia's Economic Fate Chained to the West?," CIRANO Working Papers 2012s-11, CIRANO.
    13. Brooks, Douglas H. & Ferrarini, Benno, 2014. "Vertical gravity," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31, pages 1-9.
    14. Haruka Yane, 2013. "Prospects for Trade in Intermediates and Trade in Services: What Does the Gravity Model of Bilateral Trade Tell Us?," OSIPP Discussion Paper 13E002, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    15. Anderton, Robert & Tewolde, Tadios, 2011. "The global financial crisis: trying to understand the global trade downturn and recovery," Working Paper Series 1370, European Central Bank.
    16. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné & David Khoudour-Castéras, 2009. "Economic Crisis and Global Supply Chains," Working Papers 2009-15, CEPII research center.
    17. di Mauro, Filippo & Forster, Katrin & Lima, Ana, 2010. "The global downturn and its impact on euro area exports and competitiveness," Occasional Paper Series 119, European Central Bank.
    18. Escaith, Hubert, 2009. "Trade Collapse, Trade Relapse and Global Production Networks: Supply Chains in the Great Recession (revised)," MPRA Paper 31864, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2011.
    19. 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.

    More about this item


    distance; export platform; FDI; firm strategy; MNEs; trade costs; trade liberalisation; vertical specialization; vertical trade;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    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:oec:traaab:89-en. 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: (). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.