Who’s who in global value chains? A weighted network approach

João Amador, Sónia Cabral, Rossana Mastrandrea, Franco Ruzzenenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


This paper represents global value chains (GVCs) as weighted networks of foreign value added in exports, which allows for the identification of the specific roles of countries and for the quantification of their relative importance over time. A major structural change occurred in the beginning of the century as GVCs steadily turned into global networks, amid an unprecedented growth of value-added flows and the rise of China as a major player. First-order network metrics highlight the vital but also distinct roles of Germany, the US, China and Japan in the international organisation of production. Germany is very relevant both as a user and as a supplier of foreign inputs, whilst the US acts mostly as a supplier of value added to other countries. Second-order properties of networks shed light on the complex architecture of GVCs, notably in terms of cyclical triangular relationships. Germany’s GVCs mostly root in direct relationships, whilst Japanese ones typically involve more than two countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1059
Number of pages21
JournalOpen Economies Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Fragmentation
  • Global value chains
  • Input-output tables
  • International trade
  • Network analysis


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