Title: Measuring international production fragmentation: where do we stand?

Authors: Silvia Formentini, P. Lelio Iapadre

Addresses: Dipartimento di Teoria economica e metodi quantitativi per le scelte politiche, Facolta di Scienze Politiche, Universita di Roma 'La Sapienza', P.le A. Moro, 5, 00185 Rome, Italy. ' Dipartimento di Sistemi e Istituzioni per l'Economia, Facolta di Economia, Universita dell'Aquila, P.le del Santuario, 19, 67040 Roio Poggio (AQ), Italy; Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Bologna Center, Italy; United Nations University – Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), Bruges, Belgium

Abstract: Despite the growing importance of international fragmentation of production, it is still difficult to accurately assess its real size and effect. Several different indicators were proposed over the last decade, but their capacity to provide precise and consistent results is often hindered by the lack of proper data. From an academic and a political standpoint, gaining quantitative knowledge on international vertical fragmentation in production and trade is a major challenge, thus calling for robust and accurate measurement tools. As a first step to face this challenge, this paper takes stock of indicators proposed in the literature, highlighting their advantages and drawbacks and stressing the data requirements.

Keywords: international production; production fragmentation; indicators; global value chains; GVCs; offshoring; international outsourcing; vertical specialisation; multinational firms; input–output tables; international trade.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2008.019977

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2008 Vol.1 No.3, pp.330 - 352

Published online: 19 Aug 2008 *

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