A Research Agenda for Regeneration Economies
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A Research Agenda for Regeneration Economies

Reading City-Regions

Edited by John R. Bryson, Lauren Andres and Rachel Mulhall

This Research Agenda provides both a state-of-the-art review of existing research on city-regions, and expands on new research approaches. Expert contributors from across the globe explore key areas for reading city-regions, including: trade, services and people, regional differentiation, big data, global production networks, governance and policy, and regional development. The book focuses on developing a more integrated and systematic approach to reading city-regions as part of regeneration economics, identifying conceptual and methodological developments in this field of study.
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Chapter 5: Global production networks and regeneration economies

Godfrey Yeung


This chapter explores global production networks (GPN) as a firm-centric and geographically-attuned heuristic framework for examining how firm and non-firm actors influence the products and services produced and distributed across space. It highlights the spatial asymmetrical capture of value-added in different manufacturing activities controlled by various transnational corporations and their sub-contractors, hence, the subsequent spatial inequality in regional development. In spite of its usefulness in explaining inequality in regional development, there are blind spots in the GPN framework, from manufacturing and economic-centric aspects (not paying enough attention to the importance of services and logistics, or the social and environmental aspect of upgrading) to an over-reliance on micro-scale case studies. The recent introduction of GPN 2.0 arguably provides better guidance for researchers on how the GPN framework operates and assists with charting the possible trajectories of value capture, enhancement and retention in regeneration economies.

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