Measuring Global Value Chains and Regional Economic Integration: An International Input–Output Approach.

Discussion Papers


by Bo MENG , Yong FANG, and Norihiko YAMANO

July 2012


Firms that are expanding their cross-border activities, such as vertical specialization trade, outsourcing, and fragmentation productions, have brought dramatic changes to the global economy during the last two decades. In an attempt to understand the evolution of the interaction among countries or country groups, many trade-statistics-based indicators have been developed. However, most of these statistics focus on showing the direct trade-specific-relationship among countries, rather than considering the roles that intercountry and interindustrial production networks play in a global economy. This paper uses the concepts of trade in value added as measured by the input–output tables of OECD and IDE-JETRO to provide alternative indicators that show the evolution of regional economic integration and global value chains for more than 50 economies. In addition, this paper provides thoughts on how to evaluate comparative advantages on the basis of value added using an international input–output model.

Keywords: Trade in value added, value chain, vertical specialization, comparative advantage
JEL classification: C6, F4, O18

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