Handbook on Global Value Chains
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Handbook on Global Value Chains

Edited by Stefano Ponte, Gary Gereffi and Gale Raj-Reichert

Global value chains (GVCs) are a key feature of the global economy in the 21st century. They show how international investment and trade create cross-border production networks that link countries, firms and workers around the globe. This Handbook describes how GVCs arise and vary across industries and countries, and how they have evolved over time in response to economic and political forces. With chapters written by leading interdisciplinary scholars, the Handbook unpacks the key concepts of GVC governance and upgrading, and explores policy implications for advanced and developing economies alike.
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Chapter 3: Measuring global value chains

Timothy J. Sturgeon


As the geographic fragmentation of industries has increased and cross-border coordination has improved, efforts to develop better measures and indicators of global value chains (GVC) have intensified. Producers of official and semi-official statistics and private market research information have gradually improved data resources available for GVC research, but the process is slow, piecemeal and incomplete. At the same time, demand for timely, policy-relevant GVC research is rising. This chapter describes several improvements in the data resources available for measuring GVCs that have arisen response to these new demands. Most prominent are international input–output tables such as the joint OECD–WTO Trade-in-Value-Added indicators, but several other GVC-relevant product groupings are being added to official statistics that will allow researchers to more easily retrieve comparable statistics on the outsourcing and offshoring practices of enterprises (business functions), trade in (ICT-enabled) services, and trade in intermediate goods and services that are likely to flow in more complex GVCs (specified intermediates). Finally, the chapter describes some key data resources available from private sources, and underscores the enduring value of qualitative field research and deep description of GVCs.

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