Gross trade accounting: A transparent method to discover global value chain-related information behind official trade data: Part 2
Zhi Wang, Shang-Jin Wei, Kunfu Zhu, 16 April 2014
One common measure of trade linked international production networks is the so-called VAX ratio, i.e. the ratio of value-added exports to gross exports. This column argues that this measure is not well-behaved at the sector, bilateral, or bilateral sector level, and does not capture important features of international production sharing. A new gross trade accounting framework is proposed that can better track countries’ movements up and down global value chains.
Topics: International trade
Tags: comparative advantage, competitiveness, global supply chain, global value chains, globalisation, statistics, trade
Gross trade accounting: A transparent method to discover global value chain-related information behind official trade data: Part 1
Zhi Wang, Shang-Jin Wei, Kunfu Zhu, 7 April 2014
The growth of international trade in intermediate inputs means that standard trade statistics can give a misleading picture of the real patterns of production behind world trade. This column introduces an accounting framework that decomposes traditional trade flows into components that better reflect the underlying location of the value addition linked to exports.
Production segmentation across national borders has become an important feature of the world economy. With the rapid increase in intermediate trade flows, trade economists and policymakers have reached a near consensus that official trade statistics based on gross terms are deficient, often hiding the extent of global value chains.
Topics: International trade
Tags: global supply chain, global value chains, globalisation, statistics, trade
Competing successfully in a globalising world: Lessons from Lancashire
Nicholas Crafts, Nikolaus Wolf, 22 October 2013
Europeans worry about competition from low-wage economies. This column looks at the basis of the success of the 19th-century Lancashire cotton industry faced with a similar situation. The message is that the productivity benefits of a successful agglomeration can underpin both high wages and competitive advantage in world trade. Policymakers can support such agglomerations by easing land-use restrictions, promoting investments in transport, and providing local public goods.
The ‘first globalisation’ of the 19th century – driven by the substantial falls in trade costs associated with the age of steam – saw the ‘First Unbundling’ (Baldwin 2006), in which industrial production and consumption became spatially separated, often by large distances.
Topics: Economic history, International trade
Tags: agglomeration, cities, cotton, globalisation, Industrial Revolution, industrialisation, Lancashire, trade, wages
Rethinking competitiveness: The global value chain revolution
Marcel Timmer, Bart Los, Robert Stehrer, Gaaitzen de Vries, 26 June 2013
The rise of global value chains (GVCs) is posing new challenges to analyses of countries’ competitiveness. Commonly used measures such as gross exports and revealed comparative advantage are becoming obsolete. This column presents a new measure called ‘global-value-chain income’ that is based on the value added by countries along the international production chain. It shows how this measure can be derived from existing industry-level data and how it changes our view on a country’s competitive strengths.
The rise of global value chains is posing new challenges to analyses of international trade and countries’ competitiveness. Traditional measures are based on the assumption that all activities in the production of a good take place in the domestic economy, using domestic input only.
Topics: International trade
Tags: global value chains, globalisation
Is financial globalisation in retreat? And if so, does it matter?
Richard Dobbs, Susan Lund, 19 June 2013
Is financial globalisation in retreat? This column suggests it might be. There’s been a recent and significant retreat in European financial integration and a retrenchment of global banking (although capital inflows into emerging markets and FDI are only just below their recent peaks). What are we to make of this shift? A more compartmentalised global financial system could certainly reduce the likelihood of a financial crisis spreading from one country to the next. But there is now a danger that the pendulum could swing too far, Policymakers should therefore do more to remove limitations on FDI and investor purchases of foreign equities and bonds, balancing the trade-off between the need for stability and the need to provide financing for economic growth.
Cross-border capital flows – including foreign direct investment, investor purchases of foreign bonds and equities, and cross-border lending – rose from $0.5 trillion in 1980 to a peak of $11.8 trillion in 2007 as national financial markets grew ever more tightly integrated.
Topics: International finance
The 'Good Global Citizen' remit for the international community: A novel responsibility for the IMF
Biagio Bossone, Roberta Marra, 16 March 2013
Since 2008, we have learned that the root causes of global economic instability are more than the sum of domestic instabilities. This column calls for a broad reconsideration of the principles underpinning current global economic governance; arguing that in a globalised world, isolated domestic economic policymaking is not enough. The international community needs to adhere to a ‘Good Global Citizen’ remit – housed by the IMF – if we are to tackle global economic policy under collective responsibility.
A fundamental lesson from the Great Recession is that global instability is more than the sum of domestic instabilities of single countries (Borio 2011). Not only do country exposures to global factors matter a lot: those same global factors, while they are considered to be exogenous from each country, are in fact endogenous to their collective behaviour.
Topics: Global crisis, Global governance
Tags: globalisation, Group of Lecce, IMF
Can trade policy set information free?
Susan Ariel Aaronson, 22 December 2012
The internet is an expanding opportunity for growth. This column argues that in recent years, however, policymakers and market actors have been undermining its potential. Governments and market actors are reducing both access to information and freedom of expression, as well as moving towards a splintered, non-global internet. Commitment to an open, free and global internet will be hard, but if bilateral, regional or multilateral trade agreements encourage interoperability, we might see some harmony among signatories’ privacy, online piracy, and security policies.
Although the internet is creating a virtuous circle of expanding global growth, opportunity, and information flows (Lendle et al. 2012), policymakers and market actors are taking steps that undermine access to information, reduce freedom of expression and splinter the internet (Herald 2012).
Topics: Frontiers of economic research, International trade
Tags: globalisation, internet, technology, trade
Value-added exchange rates
Rudolfs Bems, Robert Johnson, 6 December 2012
With the rise of complex, globalised supply chains is the real effective exchange rate (REER), the most commonly used measure of competitiveness, now outdated? If it is, what should replace it? This column presents a ‘Value-Added REER’ and shows that it differs substantially from the conventional REER. Because it is possible to construct a new Value-Added REER from existing data, policymakers interested in improving their understanding of competitiveness might well consider including it in their toolbox.
Real effective exchange rates (REERs) are widely used to gauge competitiveness. Yet conventional REERs, based on gross trade flows and consumer price indexes (CPIs), are not well suited to that role when imports are used to produce exports – i.e., with vertical specialisation in trade.
Topics: Competition policy, Global economy, International trade
Tags: China, competitiveness, Germany, global imbalances, globalisation, iPhone, supply chains, trade
Myths about trade, jobs, and competitiveness
Charles Roxburgh, Richard Dobbs, Jan Mischke, 31 May 2012
Are emerging markets a threat to jobs and competitiveness for the industrialised countries? This column argues that such concerns are often based on myths. Armed with the facts, policymakers in mature economies should focus on the opportunities emerging markets present rather than viewing them as a threat.
This is not a happy time for mature economies. They are facing:
Topics: Development, International trade
Tags: competitiveness, emerging markets, globalisation, jobs, protectionism
New-paradigm globalisation and networked FDI: Evidence from Japan
Richard Baldwin, Toshihiro Okubo, 24 May 2012
New-paradigm globalisation – driven by lower coordination costs rather than trade costs – is changing the nature of international commerce, the political economy of trade liberalisation, the nature of trade agreements and much more. This column, using data on Japanese multinationls, presents evidence that the nature of FDI is also changing away from the traditional classification of ‘horizontal’ or ‘vertical’.
International trade theory is going through another revolution – the third in three decades.
Topics: International trade
Tags: FDI, globalisation, Japan