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.
- International fragmentation of production
- Vertical specialization