Edited by Stefano Ponte, Gary Gereffi and Gale Raj-Reichert
Chapter 14: Economic upgrading in global value chains
Economic upgrading is a core concept in the GVC framework. This chapter reviews key typologies and trajectories of upgrading, and discusses the limits to upgrading concepts and case studies from the extant literature. New directions in the research on economic upgrading and downgrading are highlighted, including: (1) the distinct upgrading dynamics in vertically specialized versus additive GVCs; (2) the pursuit of high-value niches within resource-based GVCs; (3) the advantages and disadvantages of using trade policy to upgrade labour-intensive value chains; and (4) the role of innovation systems in GVC upgrading.
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