Vertical specialization across the world: A relative measure

João Amador, Sónia Cabral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates the dynamics and the international distribution of vertical specialization (VS) - the use of imported inputs to produce goods that are afterwards exported. We propose a relative measure of VS-based trade that combines information from Input-Output matrices and international trade data, producing results for a large sample of countries with a detailed product breakdown. We illustrate this measure by showing the evolution of VS activities at the world level over the 1967-2005 period. The results are consistent with partial evidence existing in the literature, pointing to a substantial increase of VS in high-technology products and in East Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-280
Number of pages14
JournalNorth American Journal of Economics and Finance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • International fragmentation of production
  • Vertical specialization


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