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A New Measurement for International Fragmentation of the Production Process: An International Input-Output Approach

Discussion Papers


October 2008


The paper investigates the possibility of constructing a new measurement for analysing international fragmentation of the production process. It asserts that the current usage of relevant data, whether the trade shares of parts and components or the index of Vertical Specialisation, is quite unsatisfactory for measuring the phenomenon, since they critically lack the overall perspective of the entire structure of production chains.

The new measurement is formulated such that it captures every aspect of the vertical sequence of production linkages. It is based on the input-output model of Average Propagation Lengths, recently developed by Eric Dietzenbacher and others, which show the average number of production stages that are passed through for an exogenous change in one industry to affect another. By applying this model to the data of the Asian International Input-Output Tables, the index is able to measure the international dimension of production sharing and division of labour in East Asia.

Keywords: international fragmentation, production chains, input-output analysis, Average Propagation Lengths, Asian International Input-Output Tables, East Asia
JEL classification: C67, C82, F02, F14, F15

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* Errata added in April 2016.

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