Discussion Papers

No.924 Visualizing Global Value Chains: Smile Curve, Network and Revealed Comparative Advantage

by Bo MENG, Wenyin CHENG, Ming YE, Souknilanh KEOLA, Jiabai YE

March 2024


This paper explains how we use inter-country input-output models and databases to develop new indicators for visualizing global value chains (GVCs). We created three GVC visualization tools: smile curves, networks and value-chain based revealed comparative advantage (RCA). These tools rely on new indicators of trade in value-added (TiVA), value-chain position and value-chain length. Smile curve tools show the value-added gains, positions and productivities of different countries and sectors in a specific value chain; network tools reveal the interdependence of value-added transfers among countries, their evolution over time and the role of a specific hub country in GVCs; value-chain based RCA tools measure the relative strength or weakness of a certain country in a certain type of goods and services based on TiVA flows.

Keywords: Global value chain, trade in value-added, smile curve, network, revealed comparative advantage
JEL classification: F6, F13, F15, D57

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