Hang T. Banh, Mr. Philippe Wingender, and Cheikh A. Gueye
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented collapse in global economic activity and trade. The crisis has also highlighted the role played by global value chains (GVC), with countries facing shortages of components vital to everything from health systems to everyday household goods. Despite the vulnerabilities associated with increased interconnectedness, GVCs have also contributed to increasing productivity and long-term growth. We explore empirically the impact of GVC participation on productivity in Estonia using firm-level data from 2000 to 2016. We find that higher GVC participation at the industry level significantly boosts productivity at both the industry and the firm level. Frontier firms, large firms, and exporting firms also benefit more from GVC participation than non-frontier firms, small firms, and non-exporting firms. We also find that GVC participation of downstream industries has a negative correlation with productivity. Frontier firms and large firms benefit more from GVC participation of upstream industries, while non-frontier firms and small firms benefit more from GVC participation of downstream industries. Our results suggest that policies designed to promote participation in GVCs are important to raise aggregate productivity and potential growth in Estonia.
Gustavo Adler, Sergii Meleshchuk, and Ms. Carolina Osorio Buitron
The paper explores how international integration through global value chains shapes the working of exchange rates to induce external adjustment both in the short and medium run. The analysis indicates that greater integration into international value chains reduces the exchange rate elasticity of gross trade volumes. This result holds both in the short and medium term, pointing to the rigidity of value chains. At the same time, greater value chain integration is associated with larger gross trade flows, relative to GDP, which tends to amplify the effect of exchange rate movements. Overall, combining these two results suggests that, for most countries, integration into global value chains does not materially alter the working of exchange rates and the benefits of exchange rate flexibility in facilitating external adjustment remain.
Mr. Nadeem Ilahi, Mrs. Armine Khachatryan, William Lindquist, Ms. Nhu Nguyen, Ms. Faezeh Raei, and Jesmin Rahman
In the past 25 years, exports have contributed strongly to growth and economic convergence in many small open economies. However, the Western Balkan (WB) region, consisting of small emerging market economies, has not fully availed itself of this driver of growth and convergence. A lack of openness, reliance on low value products, and weak competitiveness largely explain the insignificant role of trade and exports in the region’s economic performance. This paper focuses on how the countries in the WB could lift exports through stronger integration with global value chains (GVCs) and broadening of services exports.
The experience of countries that joined the European Union in or after 2004 shows that participation in GVCs can help small economies accelerate export and income growth. WB countries are not well integrated into Europe’s vibrant GVCs. Trade within the region is also limited—it tends to be bilateral and not cluster-like. Our analysis shows that by improving infrastructure and labor skills and adopting trade policies that ensure investor protection and harmonize regulations and legal provisions, the region can greatly enhance its engagement with GVCs.
Services exports are an increasingly important part of global trade, and they offer an untapped source of growth. The magnitude of services exports from the WB region compares favorably with that of peers in Europe, particularly in travel services where several of these countries have a revealed comparative advantage. But there is significant room for growth in tourism exports and an untapped potential in business and information technology services exports that these countries can materialize through policy efforts that increase openness and enhance connectivity and labor skills. Serbia offers a good example of how decisive efforts, including education policies to ensure a sustained supply of skilled labor, can help information technology services exports to take off.
Mr. Tamim Bayoumi, Jelle Barkema, and Diego A. Cerdeiro
The rise of global supply chains has had profound effects on individual economies and the global trading system, thereby complicating standard macroeconomic analyses. For many of the new and challenging questions brought about by this phenomenon, such as its impact on the global business cycle and measurements of competitiveness, the answer largely depends on one specific aspect of global value chains: how easily they can re-configure in response to changes in prices. We propose a parsimonious, generalized specification to test the degree of global-supply-chain flexibility. Our estimates show that, in the short run, the production structure is highly inflexible, and that this rigidity has, if anything, risen over time as supply chains have deepened over time. This finding is robust to alternative price measures, including those that account for the U.S. dollar’s outsized role in trade through invoicing. While in the long run all estimated elasticities rise, supply chains remain somewhat inflexible. Our results have implications for analyses of cross-country business-cycle dynamics, the propagation of sectoral shocks, and the measurement of international competitiveness.
This Selected Issues paper investigates the direct and indirect exposure of the Czech Republic to these external risks. The Czech Republic is a small open economy that has become increasingly reliant on export-driven growth over the last three decades. Domestic value-added in foreign exports as a share of gross exports in the Czech Republic is higher than the average share of the European Union 28. Services have a relatively low contribution to value-added in gross exports. Given the high integration of the Czech Republic into global value chains, it is crucial to take supply chain linkages into account when assessing the impact of trade shocks. The exposure to Germany is even more pronounced at the sectoral level. Manufacturing of machinery and transportation vehicles account for a large share of exports and imports in the Czech Republic. Although the impact of the US-China trade disputes on the Czech Republic would likely be limited, a hard Brexit scenario or lower demand in Germany could have sizable effects.
Raju Huidrom, Nemanja Jovanovic, Mr. Carlos Mulas-Granados, Ms. Laura Papi, Ms. Faezeh Raei, Mr. Emil Stavrev, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Europe is deeply integrated into global value chains and recent trade tensions raise the question of how European economies would be affected by the introduction of tariffs or other trade barriers. This paper estimates the impact of trade shocks and growth spillovers using value added measures to better gauge the associated costs across European countries.
Vito Amendolagine, Mr. Andrea F Presbitero, Roberta Rabellotti, Marco Sanfilippo, and Adnan Seric
The local sourcing of intermediate products is one the main channels for foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers. This paper investigates whether and how participation and positioning in the global value chains (GVCs) of host countries is associated to local sourcing by foreign investors. Matching two firm-level data sets of 19 Sub-Saharan African countries and Vietnam to country-sector level measures of GVC involvement, we find that more intense GVC participation and upstream specialization are associated to a higher share of inputs sourced locally by foreign investors. These effects are larger in countries with stronger rule of law and better education.
Aqib Aslam, Natalija Novta, and Fabiano Rodrigues-Bastos
This paper sets out the key concepts necessary to calculate trade in value added using input-output tables. We explain the basic structure of an input-output table and the matrix algebra behind the computation of trade in value added statistics. Specifically, we compute measures of domestic value-added, foreign value added, and forward and backward linkages, as well as measures of both a country’s participation and position in global value chains. We work in detail with an example of a global input-output table for 3 countries each with 4 sectors, provided by the Eora Multi-Region Input-Output (MRIO) database. The aim is to provide an introduction to the analysis of global value chains for use in policy work. An accompanying suite of Matlab codes are provided that can be used with the full set of Eora MRIO tables.
Mr. Gee Hee Hong, Mr. Jaewoo Lee, Wei Liao, and Miss Dulani Seneviratne
Asia and China made disproportionate contributions to the slowdown of global trade growth in 2015. China’s import growth slowed starkly, driven by both external and domestic factors, including a rebalancing of demand. Econometric results point to weak investment and rebalancing as the main causes of the import slowdown. Spillover effects from China’s rebalancing are estimated for some 60 countries using value-added trade data, and are found to be more negative on Asia and commodity exporters than others.
Céline Allard, Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia, Emmanouil Kitsios, Mr. Juan P Trevino, and Ms. Wenjie Chen
This analysis of the extent of trade integration of sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries in the global economy as well as within the region over the 1995–2013 period focuses on four key concepts: (1) trade openness, captured by import and export flows; (2) the centrality in the global and regional trade network, a measure that takes into account not only the size of trade but also the number of trade partners and the respective weight of these trade partners in global trade; (3) gravity model estimates that account for country- and region-specific determinants of bilateral trade flows; and (4) global value chain (GVC) integration. Using both existing data and a newly available dataset based on multiregion input and output tables, this analysis led to several findings: (1) trade openness has increased strongly; (2) integration in the global economy has made the region more vulnerable to external shocks; (3) levels of trade flows emanating from sub-Saharan Africa are still only half the magnitude of those experienced elsewhere in the world; (4) the region still has ways to go to better integrate in GVCs; and (5) it is more critical than ever to make progress in filling the infrastructure gap by lowering tariff and nontariff barriers, improving the business climate and access to credit, and continuing to enhance education outcomes.