Measuring Global Value Chains

Posted: 7 Sep 2018

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: August 2018


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 by 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 in these two approaches, highlighting points of contact between them and areas that demand further work. I argue that further convergence between these approaches can strengthen both, yielding a more complete empirical portrait of GVCs.

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Robert C., Measuring Global Value Chains (August 2018). Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 10, pp. 207-236, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Robert C. Johnson (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame - Department of Economics ( email )

Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics