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This paper aims to provide a snapshot of various countries’ contributions to value produced along global value chains (GVCs). It focusses on manufacturing activities and…
This paper aims to provide a snapshot of various countries’ contributions to value produced along global value chains (GVCs). It focusses on manufacturing activities and their evolution over time, in the context of GVC regionalisation.
The Trade in Value Added (TiVA) and World Integrated Trade Solution databases for the period of 2005-2015 were used to explore the case of Italy and its industries’ specialisations (Made in Italy): fashion, furniture, automotive and machinery traditionally organised into clusters. Various analyses were used to show the dynamics of gross import–export and imported–exported value-added. Moreover, the revealed comparative advantage index was computed to test whether the Made in Italy sector remains a source of competitive advantage for Italy within GVCs.
The results highlight how the geography of value-added is changing over time, with growing importance placed on the countries close to Italy and with a different pace according to each considered GVC.
The paper applied new methods to compare trade and analyse value-added dynamics through a recent database released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development within the TiVA initiative that is useful for scholars and policymakers.
Defined as local manufacturing systems, industrial districts have been recognized as particularly important for the location of firms’ manufacturing activities intertwined…
Defined as local manufacturing systems, industrial districts have been recognized as particularly important for the location of firms’ manufacturing activities intertwined with innovation processes. The debate on the internationalization of production has stressed the low value related to manufacturing within value chain activities (smile framework), emphasizing the need to focus on high value-added activities (R&D or marketing). Following multinational enterprises’ internationalization strategies, also district firms have progressively offshored their production phases in the past years. However, recent studies focused on backshoring have revamped the attention on the domestic control of production for firms’ competitiveness. This chapter explores district firms’ location choices for manufacturing activities between local and global. Based on an empirical analysis of about 260 Italian district firms specialized in mechanics, furniture, and fashion and supported by a case study investigation, our results show that despite district internationalization processes, a non-negligible amount of firms still carry out – in-house or through outsourcing – production activities at district level. Larger firms couple district production and long-term upstream outsourced internationalization activities. The district system confirms its role of pooling specialized competences and product know-how, being decisive for firms’ innovation and responsiveness to national and international markets. Backshoring, instead, is a very limited phenomenon and linked to upgrading strategies.