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Production Networks and Trade Patterns:East Asia in a Global Context


  • Prema-chandra Athukorala



This paper examines the implications of global production sharing for regional and global trade patterns in East Asia using a new data set culled from the UN trade database. It is found that, while ‘network trade’ has generally grown faster than total world trade in manufacturing, the degree of dependence of East Asia on this new form of international specialisation is proportionately larger than elsewhere in the world. Trade within production networks has certainly strengthened economic interdependence among countries in the region, with China playing a pivotal role as the premier centre of final assembly. However, this, contrary to the popular belief, has not lessened the dependence of export dynamism of these countries on the global economy. The rise of global production sharing has strengthened the case for a global, rather than a regional, approach to trade and investment policymaking.

Suggested Citation

  • Prema-chandra Athukorala, 2009. "Production Networks and Trade Patterns:East Asia in a Global Context," Departmental Working Papers 2009-15, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2009-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Warr, 2008. "World food prices and poverty incidence in a food exporting country: a multihousehold general equilibrium analysis for Thailand," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 525-537, November.
    2. Arief Anshory Yusuf, 2006. "Constructing Indonesian Social Accounting Matrix for Distributional Analysis in the CGE Modelling Framework," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 200604, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Nov 2006.
    3. Warr, Peter G., 2005. "Food policy and poverty in Indonesia: a general equilibrium analysis," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 49(4), December.
    4. George Fane & Peter Warr, 2008. "Agricultural Protection In Indonesia," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 133-150.
    5. Decaluwe, B. & Patry, A. & Savard, L. & Thorbecke, E., 1999. "Poverty Analysis Within a General Equilibrium Framework," Cahiers de recherche 9909, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
    6. Fane, George & Warr, Peter G., 2002. "How Economic Growth Reduces Poverty: A General Equilibrium Analysis for Indonesia," WIDER Working Paper Series 019, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    Cited by:

    1. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Archanun Kohpaiboon, 2010. "East Asia in World Trade: The Decoupling Fallacy, Crisis, and Policy Challenges," FIW Working Paper series 052, FIW.
    2. Prema-chandra Athukorala, 2009. "The Rise of China and East Asian Export Performance: Is the Crowding-Out Fear Warranted?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 234-266, February.
    3. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Shahbaz Nasir, 2012. "Global production sharing and South-South trade," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 173-202, September.
    4. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Nobuaki Yamashita, 2009. "Global Production Sharing and Sino-US Trade Relations," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 17(3), pages 39-56.
    5. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:62:y:2017:i:05:n:s0217590815501039 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lee, Hyun-Hoon & Park, Donghyun & Wang, Jing, 2013. "Different types of firms, different types of products, and their dynamics: An anatomy of China's imports," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 62-77.
    7. Lee, Hyun-Hoon & Park, Donghyun & Wang, Jing, 2012. "Different Types of Firms, Products, and Directions of Trade: The Case of the People’s Republic of China," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 101, Asian Development Bank.
    8. Huang, Yanghua & Salike, Nimesh & Zhong, Feiteng, 2017. "Policy effect on structural change: A case of Chinese intermediate goods trade," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 30-47.

    More about this item


    production sharing; trade patterns; East Asia; China;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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