The global value chain revolution has changed trade and trade agreements. Trade now matters for making goods as well as selling them. Trade governance has shifted away from the WTO towards megaregional agreements. This column argues that 21st-century regionalism is not fundamentally about discrimination, and that its benefits and costs are best thought of as network externalities and harmonisation costs respectively. More research is needed to determine how the megaregional trade agreements across the Pacific and Atlantic will fit with the WTO.
Richard Baldwin, 20 January 2014
Sergi Basco, Martí Mestieri, 05 October 2013
The ICT revolution has fostered internationalisation of production networks, but the impact has been uneven across sectors. This column presents evidence that ICT interacts with monitoring difficulties to explain differences in international firm organisation at the sector level. ICT is one way that developing nations can ascend in the global supply chain. Those countries that invest in ICT technologies gain a comparative advantage in harder-to-monitor industries, which tend to be more skill-intensive.
Kalina Manova, Zhihong Yu, 13 May 2013
What can we learn from China’s experience as a linchpin in the global value chain? This column presents new research showing that financial frictions influence the organisation of production across firm and country boundaries. If you’re credit-constrained, you might be stuck in the low value-added stage of the supply chain. Strengthening capital markets might thus be an important prerequisite for moving into higher value-added, more profitable activity. China’s experience tells us that liquidity-constrained manufacturers might therefore benefit more from import liberalisation and from the fragmentation of production across borders.