Global Value Chains & Development

The Global Value Chains Initiative provides an industry-centric view of economic globalization that highlights the linkages between firms and other economic actors from the global to the local levels of analysis. The Initiative seeks to disseminate recent developments and applications of this research agenda and to foster the development of an international community of global value chain researchers using the tools provided by the Internet.

Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

imageCGGC uses the GVC framework to address economic development challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The region has one of the fastest growing populations in the world along with the highest youth unemployment rates. MENA’s economies include high-income countries that depend on oil exports such as Saudi Arabia, middle-income countries with diversified exports such as Egypt, and low-income countries such as Yemen. Recent transitions and unrest demonstrate that MENA nations urgently need sustainable approaches to economic growth that reduce vulnerabilities, create employment opportunities and promote an inclusive and competitive private sector. Our research seeks to better understand complex dynamics in MENA countries to foster comprehensive development in sectors such as agriculture, technology, and energy.
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Brazil

imageBrazil, a member of the "BRIC" group of large emerging economies, has captured Duke CGGC's interest as it continues to integrate with the world economy through networks of trade and investment. Duke CGGC is conducting research on GVCs in Brazil in order to understand the country's position in the global economy and consider the policy implications of its development efforts. The results of an in-depth study of Brazil's aerospace, medical devices and electronics industries, conducted in partnership with MIT's Industrial Performance Center, will be published as a book in Portuguese in early 2014. The English version of the report, Brazilian Manufacturing in International Perspective, is freely available for download on this page.
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Costa Rica

imageDuke CGGC embarked on this study for the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX) in Costa Rica to understand the participation of Costa Rica in four global value chains: medical devices, electronics, aerospace and offshore services. The ultimate goal of this study was to provide a set of recommendations to the Costa Rican government to enhance the participation and upgrading in the industries selected.
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GVCs and Workforce Development

imageWorkforce development strategies for enhancing the global competitiveness of developing countries.
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GVCs & Inclusive Development

imageThe center is conducting research to understand why certain economic actors are not able to participate in global value chains. Research questions addressed include: How can developing countries gainfully engage in GVCs? What are the main constraints that small- and medium-sized firms in emerging nations face to participate in GVCs? What types of policies are successful in linking new economic actors to the global economy and what opportunities do these economic actors have to participate in value chains?
MIF Website > >
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Offshore Services Industry

imageThe Center is conducting research on the offshore services industry, one of the fastest growing sectors in this globalized economy. Companies in search of lower costs and new talent have begun unbundling their corporate activities and are sourcing them from abroad. The information technology revolution has expedited the growth of this industry facilitating the trade of these service activities.
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Oceans

imageAn incredible amount of interest exists in government, nonprofits, and the academic community in the ocean. Whether the interest is in monitoring the health of fisheries, patrolling the surface, or creating precise maps of the seafloor, the need for information on the ocean is vast. CGGC, in partnership with its sponsors, conducts research on ocean-related global value chains. Some of our recent projects, presentations, and articles on ocean related topics are provided on this page.
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Apparel

imageThe apparel global value chain (GVC) has been one of the hallmark cases of globalization, since the establishment of the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) in the early 1970s through the phase-out of the MFA in 2005. The MFA quota system sparked the spread of global production networks in apparel to every corner of the globe, and MFA phase out has led to predictions that large developing country suppliers such as China and India would dominate apparel GVCs after the mid-2000s.

CGGC researchers have tracked global apparel trends in multiple projects, publications and websites. The apparel industry is analyzed in the North Carolina in the Global Economy website, and it is also one of the four industries covered in the CGGC report on "Skills for Upgrading: Workforce Development and GVCs in Developing Countries" Gary Gereffi and Stacey Frederick have published several articles on apparel GVCs, including a chapter in the World Bank book by Cattaneo, Gereffi and Staritz (eds.), Global Value Chains in a Postcrisis World: A Development Perspective (2010), and Frederick has collaborated with Cornelia Staritz in developing a series of detailed country case studies for another World Bank book by Lopez—Acevedo and Robertson (eds.), Sewing Success? Employment, Wages and Poverty Following the End of the Multi-fibre Arrangement (2012).
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Food & Agriculture

imageCGGC has been involved in groundbreaking research on global health issues, including how food and trade affect healthy diets. In the summer of 2007 researchers at CGGC were contacted by representatives of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to participate in a series of conferences beginning in fall 2007 that would highlight new approaches to studying childhood obesity. Researchers at CGGC were specifically asked by organizers of the McGill Health Challenge and the WHO Early-Stage Expert Meeting on Trade and Healthy Diets to write a framework paper that would outline how researchers should address the multi levels of analysis which are needed to capture the various determinants of childhood obesity.

In this framework paper, “Trade, Transnational Corporations and Food Consumption: A Global Value Chain Approach,” CGGC researchers Gary Gereffi, Joonkoo Lee and Michelle Christian described how the global value chains framework is a useful analytic tool to understand how international economic processes, particularly the role of transnational corporations, impact the structural conditions. These conditions make certain types of food available that can potentially impact childhood obesity rates in both developed and developing countries.

A series of CGGC publications on global food and agriculture subsequently emerged in special issues of journals, such as “U.S.-based Food and Agricultural Value Chains and Their Relevance to Healthy Diets” (Gereffi, Lee and Christian), Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (2009), and “Global Value Chains and Agrifood Standards: Challenges and Possibilities for Smallholders in Developing Countries” (Lee, Gereffi and Beauvais), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2012). Christian and Gereffi contributed a chapter on “The Marketing and Distribution of Fast Food” in Michael Freemark’s edited book on Pediatric Obesity (2010), and other CGGC projects have looked at selected California crops (for the Environmental Defense Fund) and agricultural value chains in the Mexicali Valley (for the Walton Family Foundation).

In 2012, CGGC was awarded a prestigious U.S. Department of Defense Minerva Initiative 3-year research grant to look at “A Global Value Chain Analysis of Food Security and Food Staples for Major Energy-Exporting Nations in the Middle East and North Africa.” This project will be carried out in collaboration with Lincoln Pratson at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University.
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Automotive

imageThe automobile industry has been considered a classic example of a producer-driven value chain. CGGC researchers, in collaboration with scholars at other universities, have published a wide range of articles on the automobile industry in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China. Some of this research was supported by Industry Canada.
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Global Health

imageCGGC has been involved in groundbreaking research on global health issues, including how food and trade affect healthy diets. In the summer of 2007 researchers at CGGC were contacted by representatives of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to participate in a series of conferences beginning in fall 2007 that would highlight new approaches to studying childhood obesity. Researchers at CGGC were specifically asked by organizers of the McGill Health Challenge and the WHO Early-Stage Expert Meeting on Trade and Healthy Diets to write a framework paper that would outline how researchers should address the multi levels of analysis which are needed to capture the various determinants of childhood obesity.

In this framework paper, “Trade, Transnational Corporations and Food Consumption: A Global Value Chain Approach,” CGGC researchers Gary Gereffi, Joonkoo Lee and Michelle Christian described how the global value chains framework is a useful analytic tool to understand how international economic processes, particularly the role of transnational corporations, impact the structural conditions. These conditions make certain types of food available that can potentially impact childhood obesity rates in both developed and developing countries. Christian and Gereffi also contributed a chapter on “The Marketing and Distribution of Fast Food” in Michael Freemark’s edited book on Pediatric Obesity (2010)
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World Bank

imageThe World Bank has published several books that feature work on global value chains by CGGC researchers, such as Gary Gereffi, Stacey Frederick (apparel), Karina Fernandez-Stark (offshore services), Ghada Ahmed (call centers in Egypt), Penny Bamber (horticulture in Honduras), and Michelle Christian (tourism in Kenya). With Olivier Cattaneo and Cornelia Staritz of the World Bank, Gereffi co-edited Global Value Chains in a Post-Crisis World: A Development Perspective (The World Bank, 2010), as well as a special issue of the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development on “Shifting End Markets and Upgrading Prospects in Global Value Chains” (2011).
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Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

imageThe Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has sponsored a series of projects, led by CGGC researchers Karina Fernandez-Stark and Penny Bamber, which include carrying out global value chains (GVC) research in a variety of Latin American countries, and also helping the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the IDB to design and evaluate new GVC projects for the region. In addition, the IDB has co-sponsored a number of international conferences and workshops on global value chains throughout Latin America, and it supported a one-week GVC training program led by Fernandez-Stark, Bamber and Gary Gereffi at the Caribbean Center for Competitiveness at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad in October 8-12, 2012.
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OECD (Paris)

imageThe Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris has co-sponsored several conferences and workshops on global value chains that involve CGGC researchers, as well as commissioning a number of research reports. To date, this research has focused primarily on improving the participation of developing countries in regional and global value chains, through skills upgrading, a sector-specifc approach to improving local institutional framework for competitiveness as well as how to structure policies to optimise value capture in Africa.
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CORFO (Chile)

imageChile’s economic development agency, CORFO (Corporación de Fomento de la Producción), commissioned a series of CGGC reports on the offshore services global value chain (GVC) in order to guide Chile’s efforts to develop a strategy to successfully enter this part of the global knowledge economy. The first study outlined the main features of the offshore services GVC, which was dominated by India. The second report highlighted Chile’s role in the offshore services GVC, the third study identified engineering services as a particular niche in which Chile could gain international standing, and the fourth CGGC study focused on the workforce development challenges that confronted Chile’s offshore services GVC.
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