Functional specialisation in trade

Marcel P. Timmer*, Sébastien Miroudot, Gaaitzen J. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Production processes are fragmenting across borders with countries trading tasks rather than products. Export statistics based on value added reveal a process of vertical specialisation. Yet, what do countries do when exporting? In this article, we provide novel evidence on functional specialisation (FS) in trade. We find surprisingly large and pervasive heterogeneity in specialisation across countries. A positive (negative) correlation between GDP per capita and specialisation in R&D (fabrication) functions is documented. Specialisation in management and marketing functions is unrelated to income. We show how our approach can be easily extended to study FS in trade at the sub-national level. We argue that this is needed to better understand the potential for regional development under global integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Volume19
Issue number1
Early online date26-Nov-2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2019

Keywords

  • Specialisation
  • international trade
  • functions
  • global production
  • networks
  • GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS
  • INPUT-OUTPUT TABLES
  • PRODUCTION NETWORKS
  • VERTICAL SPECIALIZATION
  • WORLD
  • LOCATION
  • EXPORTS
  • TASKS
  • GROWTH
  • GOODS

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