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Characterizing Global Value Chains

Sep 2016
Working Paper
Zhi Wang, Shang-Jin Wei, Xinding Yu, Kunfu Zhu

Since the extent of both outsourcing and offshoring varies by sector and country, we develop a set of country-sector level measures of global value chains (GVCs) in terms of average production length, intensity of participation, and relative upstream positions on a production network. We distinguish production activities that are inside a country, and that cross borders once or multiple times. Using these measures, we characterize cross-country production sharing patterns and their evolutions for 35 sectors and 40 countries over 17 years. While the production chain for the world as a whole has become longer, there are interesting variations in the length, participation, and positions across different country-sectors. The results contribute to a better understanding of the character of various global value chains and patterns of participation by individual country-sectors.

Publication Keywords: 
Production Length
Position and Participation in Global Value Chains
Geographic Regions: 
Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) Classification Codes: