Jobs in Global Value Chains: New Evidence for Four African Countries in International Perspective

76 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019

See all articles by Stefan Pahl

Stefan Pahl

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business

Marcel P. Timmer

University of Gronigen - Faculty of Economics

Reitze Gouma

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business

Pieter Woltjer

Wageningen UR

Date Written: July 31, 2019

Abstract

What is the potential for job growth in Africa under participation in global value chains (GVCs)? In this study the concept of GVC jobs is introduced which tracks the number of jobs associated with GVC production of goods. A novel decomposition approach is used to account for GVC jobs by three proximate sources: global demand for final goods, a country's GVC competitiveness (measured as the country's share in serving global demand) and technology (workers needed per unit of output). Based on newly assembled data, it is shown how GVC jobs and incomes have changed over the period 2000-14 in Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa, compared to developments in some other low- and middle-income countries in the world. The four African countries stand out in terms of a low share of GVC jobs in the (formal) manufacturing sector, and a relatively high share in agriculture due to strong backward linkages, especially in the case of food production. All countries benefitted highly from growing global demand for final goods. At the same time it appears that technical change in GVCs is biased against the use of labour, greatly diminishing the potential for job growth through GVC participation.

Keywords: Labor Markets, Food & Beverage Industry, Plastics & Rubber Industry, Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies, Textiles, Apparel & Leather Industry, Pulp & Paper Industry, Common Carriers Industry, Construction Industry, General Manufacturing, International Trade and Trade Rules, Industrial and Consumer Services and Products, Transport and Trade Logistics

Suggested Citation

Pahl, Stefan and Timmer, Marcel P. and Gouma, Reitze and Woltjer, Pieter, Jobs in Global Value Chains: New Evidence for Four African Countries in International Perspective (July 31, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8953. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3430568

Stefan Pahl

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen
Netherlands

Marcel P. Timmer (Contact Author)

University of Gronigen - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen
Netherlands

Reitze Gouma

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen
Netherlands

Pieter Woltjer

Wageningen UR ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

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