Measuring Global Value Chains

43 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2017 Last revised: 25 Feb 2022

See all articles by Robert C. Johnson

Robert C. Johnson

University of Notre Dame - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2017


Recent decades have seen the emergence of global value chains (GVCs), in which production stages for individual goods are broken apart and scattered across countries. Stimulated by these developments, there has been rapid progress in data and methods for measuring GVC linkages. The macro-approach to measuring GVCs connects national input-output tables across borders using bilateral trade data to construct global input-output tables. These tables have been applied to measure trade in value added, the length of and location of producers in GVCs, and price linkages across countries. The micro-approach uses firm-level data to document firms' input sourcing decisions, how import and export participation are linked, and how multinational firms organize their production networks. In this review, I evaluate progress on these two tracks, highlighting points of contact between them and areas that demand further work. I argue that further convergence between them can strengthen both, yielding a more complete empirical portrait of GVCs.

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Robert C., Measuring Global Value Chains (November 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w24027, Available at SSRN:

Robert C. Johnson (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame - Department of Economics ( email )

Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

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