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Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer

Gary Gereffi
Karina Fernandez-Stark
Center on Globalization, Governance &
Competitiveness (CGGC)
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina, USA
May 31, 2011
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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Table of Contents
I.IMPORTANCE OF GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS ................................................................................2
II.WHAT ARE GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS? .........................................................................................4
III.DIMENSIONS OF GVC ANALYSIS .............................................................................................5
1.Input-Output Structure ................................................................................................................................... 5
a.Identify the main activities/segments in a global value chain. .......................................................... 5
b.Identify the dynamic and structure of companies under each segment of the value chain. ......... 6
2.Geographic Scope ........................................................................................................................................ 7
3.Governance .................................................................................................................................................... 8
4.Institutional Context ..................................................................................................................................... 11
IV.UPGRADING .............................................................................................................................12
V.RECENT APPLICATIONS OF GLOBAL VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS .................................................16
1.Globalizing Service Sectors in the World Economy: Offshore Services ........................................... 17
2.Emerging Industries: Clean Technologies (Low-Carbon and Renewables) ........................................ 22
a.U.S. Manufacture of Rail Vehicles .......................................................................................................... 22
b.U.S. Smart Grid ......................................................................................................................................... 25
3.Linking Social and Economic Upgrading ................................................................................................. 29
4.Workforce Development ............................................................................................................................ 33
VI.CONCLUSIONS ..........................................................................................................................35
List of Figures
Figure 1. Fruit and Vegetables Global Value Chain Segments ..................................................................6
Figure 2. Fruit and Vegetables Global Value Chain .....................................................................................7
Figure 3. Five Global Value Chain Governance Types ............................................................................. 11
Figure 4. Upgrading Stages of Selected Countries in the Fruit and Vegetables Value Chain .......... 13
Figure 5. U.S.- Torreon Apparel Value Chain: Activities and Location ................................................... 14
Figure 6. Offshore Services Upgrading Trajectories: India, Philippines and Chile ............................... 16
Figure 7. The Offshore Services Global Value Chain ................................................................................ 20
Figure 8. Examples of Upgrading Trajectories in the Offshore Services Value Chain ........................ 21
Figure 9. U.S. Value Chain for Passenger and Transit Rail Vehicles ....................................................... 24
Figure 10. U.S. Smart Grid Vendor Value Chain ........................................................................................ 27
Figure 11. Relevant Employee Locations of Leading U.S. Smart Grid Vendors .................................... 28
Figure 12. Typology of Workforce Composition across Different Industries ......................................... 31
Figure 13. Commercial and Social Drivers for Up/Downgrading ........................................................... 32
Figure 14 Examples of Upgrading Trajectories in the Offshore Services Value Chain and Workforce
Development Initiatives ...................................................................................................................................... 34
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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The global economy is increasingly structured around global value chains (GVCs) that account for a
rising share of international trade, global GDP and employment. The evolution of GVCs in sectors as
diverse as commodities, apparel, electronics, tourism and business service outsourcing has significant
implications in terms of global trade, production and employment and how developing country firms,
producers and workers are integrated in the global economy. GVCs link firms, workers and
consumers around the world and often provide a stepping stone for firms and workers in developing
countries to integrate into the global economy. For many countries, especially low-income countries,
the ability to effectively insert themselves into GVCs is a vital condition for their development. This
supposes an ability to access GVCs, to compete successfully and to “capture the gains” in terms of
national economic development, capability building and generating more and better jobs to reduce
unemployment and poverty. Thus, it is not only a matter of whether to participate in the global
economy, but how to do so gainfully.
The GVC framework allows one to understand how global industries are organized by examining
the structure and dynamics of different actors involved in a given industry. In today’s globalized
economy with very complex industry interactions, the GVC methodology is a useful tool to trace the
shifting patterns of global production, link geographically dispersed activities and actors of a single
industry, and determine the roles they play in developed and developing countries alike. The GVC
framework focuses on the sequences of value added within an industry, from conception to
production and end use. It examines the job descriptions, technologies, standards, regulations,
products, processes, and markets in specific industries and places, thus providing a holistic view of
global industries both from the top down and the bottom up.
The comprehensive nature of the framework allows policy makers to answer questions regarding
development issues that have not been addressed by previous paradigms; additionally, it provides
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a means to explain the changed global-local dynamics that have emerged within the past 20 years
(Gereffi & Korzeniewicz, 1994). As policy makers and researchers alike have come to understand
the pros and cons of the spread of globalization, the GVC framework has gained importance in
tackling new industry realities such as the role of emerging economies like China and India as new
drivers of global value chains, the importance of international product and process certifications as
preconditions of competitive success for export-oriented economies, the rise of demand-driven
workforce development initiatives as integral to dynamic economic upgrading, and the proliferation
of private regulations and standards (Lee, 2010; Mayer & Gereffi, 2010), while also proving useful
in the examination of social and environmental development concerns.
This methodology has been adopted by a range of institutions and governments, who have
commissioned GVC studies to understand global industries and to guide the formulation of new
programs and policies to promote economic development.
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The value chain describes the full range of activities that firms and workers perform to bring a
product from its conception to end use and beyond. This includes activities such as design,
production, marketing, distribution and support to the final consumer. The activities that comprise a
value chain can be contained within a single firm or divided among different firms
(, 2011). In the context of globalization, the activities that constitute a value
chain have generally been carried out in inter-firm networks on a global scale. By focusing on the
sequences of tangible and intangible value-adding activities, from conception and production to end
use, GVC analysis provides a holistic view of global industries – both from the top down (for
example, examining how lead firms “govern” their global-scale affiliate and supplier networks) and
from the bottom up (for example, asking how these business decisions affect the trajectory of
economic and social “upgrading” or “downgrading” in specific countries and regions).
There are four basic dimensions that GVC methodology explores: (1) an input-output structure, which
describes the process of transforming raw materials into final products; (2) a geographical
consideration; (3) a governance structure, which explains how the value chain controlled; and (4) an
institutional context in which the industry value chain is embedded (Gereffi, 1995). Using these four
fundamental dimensions, contributions from Gereffi (1999) and Humphrey & Schmidt (2002)
developed an additional element of analysis referred to as upgrading, which describes the
dynamic movement within the value chain by examining how producers shift between different
stages of the chain. Early use of GVC methodology focused principally on economic and
competitiveness issues, while recently social and environmental dimensions have been incorporated.
GVC research is now exploring new topics such as labor regulation issues, workforce development,
the greening of value chains, and gender.
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Global value chain analysis is constituted by four dimensions, as discussed below.
1. Input-Output Structure
a. Identify the main activities/segments in a global value chain.
A chain represents the entire input-output process that brings a product or service from initial
conception to the consumer’s hands. The main segments in the chain vary according to the industry,
but typically these include: research and design, inputs, production, distribution and marketing, and
sales, and in some cases the recycling of products after use. This input-output structure involves both
goods and services, as well as a range of supporting industries. The input-output structure is
typically represented as a set of value chain boxes connected by arrows that show the flows of
tangible and intangible goods and services, which are critical to mapping the value added at
different stages in the chain, and to layering in information of particular interest to the researcher
(e.g., jobs, wages, gender, and the firms participating at diverse stages of the chain).
In order to understand the entire chain, it is crucial to study the evolution of the industry, the trends
that have shaped it, and its organization. Once there is general knowledge about the industry,
segments of the chain can be identified and differentiated by the value they add to the product.
The researcher develops this chain using secondary data and interviews. The role of the researcher
is to link these pieces of information and create a united and self-explanatory chain that includes
the principal activities of the industry. The segments of the chain illustrate how different value
adding processes contributed to the product or service, and in turn, the differing returns netted for
the chain actors behind them.
Diagrams are extremely useful to illustrate the findings. For example, the fruit and vegetables
global value chain is comprised of the following segments:
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Figure 1. Fruit and Vegetables Global Value Chain Segments
Inputs Production Packing&Storage Processing Distribution&
Source: (Fernandez-Stark et al., Forthcoming-c)
b. Identify the dynamic and structure of companies under each segment of the value
Each of the segments identified in the previous step have specific characteristics and dynamics, such
as particular sourcing practices or preferred suppliers. For example, in the fruits and vegetable
value chain, the inputs for the “processing” segment may come from fruits that were intended for
export but did not meet the quality controls or it may come from production grown exclusively for
processing. It is important to identify the type of companies involved in the industry and their key
characteristics: global or domestic; state-owned or private; large, medium, or small; etc. Identifying
the firms that participate in the chain will help to understand its governance structure (this dimension
will be explained later).
Under the production, distribution and marketing segments, the main producers of fresh produce and
the final buyers in the chain are listed in Figure 2.
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Figure 2. Fruit and Vegetables Global Value Chain
Product ion
forExport Packing&Stora ge Pr ocessing Dist ribution&
Vege tab le sforfresh
Vege tabl es for
LargeProducerExport erCompanies
Comp anies
(Selection,packing ,cutting,
(Selection,packing, cutt ing ,
Superma rket s
Res idues
Pesticid es)
Irri gation
Fertilize rs
Source: (Fernandez-Stark et al., Forthcoming-c)
2. Geographic Scope
The globalization of industries has been facilitated by improvement in transportation and
telecommunications infrastructure and driven by demand for the most competitive inputs in each
segment of the value chain. Today, supply chains are globally dispersed and different activities are
usually carried out in different parts of the world. In the global economy, countries participate in
industries by leveraging their competitive advantages in assets. Usually developing countries offer
low labor costs and raw materials, while rich nations with highly educated talent are behind
research and development and product design. As a result, firms and workers in widely separated
locations affect one another more than they have in the past (, 2011).
Geographical analysis is based first on the identification of the lead firms in each segment of the
value chain. This information is mainly compiled using secondary sources of firm data, specialized
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industry publications, and interviews with industry experts. The presence of a number of these
leading firms within particular countries thus informs the country-level positions within the chain. The
contributions of different countries within the chain can then be determined by examining country-
level data, such as industry exports and the segments in which those exports are concentrated.
One of the main contributions of GVC analysis has been to map the shifts in the geographic scope
of global industries. However, GVCs operate at different geographic scales (local, national,
regional, and global) and they continue to evolve. New evidence suggests there may be a trend
toward a regionalization of GVCs in response to a variety of factors, including the growing
importance of large emerging economies and regional trade agreements.
3. Governance
Governance analysis allows one to understand how a chain is controlled and coordinated when
certain actors in the chain have more power than others. Gereffi (1994, p. 97) defined governance
as “authority and power relationships that determine how financial, material and human resources
are allocated and flow within a chain.” Initially in the global commodity chains framework,
governance was described broadly in terms of “buyer-driven” or “producer-driven” chains (Gereffi,
1994). Analysis of buyer-driven chains highlights the powerful role of large retailers, such as Wal-
Mart and Tesco, as well as highly successfully branded merchandisers (e.g., Nike, Reebok), in
dictating the way the chains are operated by requiring suppliers to meet certain standards and
protocols, despite limited or no production capabilities. In contrast, producer-driven chains are more
vertically integrated along all segments of the supply chain and leverage the technological or scale
advantages of integrated suppliers. Understanding governance and how a supply chain is
controlled facilitates firm entry and development within global industries.
A more elaborate typology of five governance structures has been identified in the GVC literature:
markets, modular, relational, captive, and hierarchy (see Figure 3). These structures are measured
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and determined by three variables: the complexity of the information between actors in the chain;
how the information for production can be codified; and the level of supplier competence (Frederick
& Gereffi, 2009; Gereffi et al., 2005).
Market: Market governance involves transactions that are relatively simple. Information on
product specifications is easily transmitted, and suppliers can make products with minimal input
from buyers. These arms-length exchanges require little or no formal cooperation between
actors and the cost of switching to new partners is low for both producers and buyers. The
central governance mechanism is price rather than a powerful lead firm.
Modular: Modular governance occurs when complex transactions are relatively easy to codify.
Typically, suppliers in modular chains make products to a customer’s specifications and take
full responsibility for process technology using generic machinery that spreads investments
across a wide customer base. This keeps switching costs low and limits transaction-specific
investments, even though buyer-supplier interactions can be very complex. Linkages (or
relationships) are more substantial than in simple markets because of the high volume of
information flowing across the inter-firm link. Information technology and standards for
exchanging information are both key to the functioning of modular governance.
Relational: Relational governance occurs when buyers and sellers rely on complex information
that is not easily transmitted or learned. This results in frequent interactions and knowledge
sharing between parties. Such linkages require trust and generate mutual reliance, which are
regulated through reputation, social and spatial proximity, family and ethnic ties, and the like.
Despite mutual dependence, lead firms still specify what is needed, and thus have the ability
to exert some level of control over suppliers. Producers in relational chains are more likely to
supply differentiated products based on quality, geographic origin or other unique
characteristics. Relational linkages take time to build, so the costs and difficulties required to
switch to a new partner tend to be high.
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Captive: In these chains, small suppliers are dependent on one or a few buyers that often wield
a great deal of power. Such networks feature a high degree of monitoring and control by the
lead firm. The power asymmetry in captive networks forces suppliers to link to their buyer
under conditions set by, and often specific to, that particular buyer, leading to thick ties and
high switching costs for both parties. Since the core competence of the lead firms tends to be in
areas outside of production, helping their suppliers upgrade their production capabilities does
not encroach on this core competency, but benefits the lead firm by increasing the efficiency of
its supply chain. Ethical leadership is important to ensure suppliers receive fair treatment and
an equitable share of the market price.
Hierarchy: Hierarchical governance describes chains characterized by vertical integration and
managerial control within lead firms that develop and manufacture products in-house. This
usually occurs when product specifications cannot be codified, products are complex, or highly
competent suppliers cannot be found. While less common than in the past, this sort of vertical
integration is still an important feature of the global economy.
The form of governance can change as an industry evolves and matures, and governance patterns
within an industry can vary from one stage or level of the chain to another. In addition, recent
research has shown that many GVCs are characterized by multiple and interacting governance
structures, and these affect opportunities and challenges for economic and social upgrading (Dolan
& Humphrey, 2004; Gereffi, Lee et al., 2009).
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Figure 3. Five Global Value Chain Governance Types
Source: (Gereffi et al., 2005)
4. Institutional Context
The institutional framework identifies how local, national and international conditions and policies
shape the globalization in each stage of the value chain (Gereffi, 1995). GVCs are embedded
within local economic, social and institutional dynamics. Insertion in the GVC depends significantly on
these local conditions. Economic conditions include the availability of key inputs: labor costs,
available infrastructure and access to other resources such as finance; social context governs the
availability of labor and its skill level, such as female participation in the labor force and access to
education; and finally institutions includes tax and labor regulation, subsidies, and education and
innovation policy that can promote or hinder industry growth and development.
Analysis of the local dynamics in which a value chain is embedded requires examination of the
stakeholders involved. All the industry actors are mapped in the value chain and their main role in
the chain is explained. Because global value chains touch down in many different parts of the
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world, the use of this framework allows one to carry out more systematic comparative (cross-
national and cross-regional) analysis to identify the impact of different features of the institutional
context on relevant economic and social outcomes.
The GVC approach analyzes the global economy from two contrasting vantage points: top down
and bottom up. The key concept for the top down view is the “governance” of global value chains,
which focuses mainly on lead firms and the organization of international industries; and the main
concept for the bottom up perspective is “upgrading,” which focuses on the strategies used by
countries, regions, and other economic stakeholders to maintain or improve their positions in the
global economy. Economic upgrading is defined as firms, countries or regions moving to higher
value activities in GVCs in order to increase the benefits (e.g. security, profits, value-added,
capabilities) from participating in global production (Gereffi, 2005b, p. 171).
From a dynamic perspective, we can think about upgrading as linked to a series of economic roles
and capabilities associated with production and export activities, such as: assembly based on
imported inputs (typical of export-processing zones); original equipment manufacturing (OEM), also
known as full-package production; original brand name manufacturing (OBM); and original design
manufacturing (ODM) (Gereffi, 1999, p. 51). This trajectory (assembly OEM OBM ODM)
is neither inevitable nor easy, and GVC studies have analyzed the conditions under which varied
patterns of upgrading and downgrading have occurred using these categories.
Diverse mixes of government policies, institutions, corporate strategies, technologies, and worker
skills are associated with upgrading success.. Within the GVC framework, four types of upgrading
have been identified (Humphrey & Schmitz, 2002):
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process upgrading, which transforms inputs into outputs more efficiently by reorganizing the
production system or introducing superior technology;
product upgrading, or moving into more sophisticated product lines;
functional upgrading, which entails acquiring new functions (or abandoning existing functions) to
increase the overall skill content of the activities; and
chain or inter-sectoral upgrading, where firms move into new but often related industries.
Upgrading patterns differ by both industry and country based on the input-output structure of the
value chain and the institutional context of each country. Certain industries require linear upgrading
and countries must gain expertise in one segment of the value chain before upgrading into the next
segment, as shown below for countries involved in the horticulture value chain (see Figure 4).
Figure 4. Upgrading Stages of Selected Countries in the Fruit and Vegetables Value Chain
Inputs Production Packing&
Storage Proces sing Distribution&
Kenya & Morocco
Jordan & Hon duras
Source: (Fernandez-Stark et al., Forthcoming-c)
The apparel industry is a classic case that has been used to illustrate different upgrading and
downgrading trajectories, since a large number of countries have been significant apparel
exporters from the 1970s until the present (Gereffi, 1999; Gereffi & Frederick, 2010). Apparel
suppliers in Torreon, Mexico initially entered the blue jeans industry1 in the assembly stage of the
1 For more details see Bair and Gereffi (2001).
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value chain, but they quickly developed expertise in providing trim and labels, and distinct washes
and finishes. By 2000, operations based in Torreon had also developed expertise in distribution,
shipping their product directly to the point of sale. Figure 5 illustrates the region’s upgrading
trajectory into new higher value added segments of the apparel value chain between 1993 and
Figure 5. U.S.- Torreon Apparel Value Chain: Activities and Location
Textiles Trims and Cutting Assembly Laundry and Distribution Marketing Retail
Labels Finishing
Textiles Trims and Cutting Assembly Laundry and Distribution Marketing Retail
Labels Finishing
Source: (Bair & Gereffi, 2001)
In 1993, only four U.S. manufacturers—Farah, Sun Apparel, Wrangler, and Levi Strauss & Co.—
had a significant presence in Torreon. By 2000, the number of export customers grew to more than
two dozen. In the early 1990s, the assembly plants on the Mexican side of the border received cut
parts from U.S. manufacturers or brokers. These cut parts were sewn into garments and then re-
exported to the United States under the “maquila” regime, which allowed tariff-free inputs to be
sent from the United States to Mexico as long as they were included in Mexican production for re-
export to the United States. Brand marketers and retailers “pulled” Mexican firms to increase their
production volumes and the range of activities performed.
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Upgrading thus occurred at the firm level in Torreon, in conjunction with the increasing demands of
U.S. buyers for full-package production. However, the full-package model did not guarantee long-
term success. Blue jean exports from Torreon slumped with the decline in U.S. export demand after
2000, and apparel employment in Torreon, which rose from 12,000 jobs in 1993 to an estimated
75,000 jobs in 2000, declined to 40,000 in 2004. Maintaining a role in the U.S. market in the face
of stiff competition from China and other international suppliers required Torreon’s blue jeans cluster
to continue to upgrade beyond OEM to the OBM and ODM stages of the value chain through the
development of local brands, regional marketing directly to U.S. buyers, and the establishment of a
local design center in the region (Gereffi, 2005a).
Other industries, such as offshore services and tourism, present non-linear upgrading paths;
countries can move in different directions and multiple shifts can take place simultaneously. Figure 6
illustrates the complexity of the upgrading trajectories followed by India, the Philippines and Chile
in the offshore services value chain, which will be discussed in greater detail in the following section.
These cases highlight one of the key findings of GVC studies, which is that access to developed
country markets has become increasingly dependent on participating in global value chains led by
firms based in developed countries, and in some cases in emerging economies, like India’s offshore
service providers. Therefore, how value chains function is essential for understanding how firms in
developing countries can gain access to global markets, what the benefits from such access might
be, and how these benefits might be increased.
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Figure 6. Offshore Services Upgrading Trajectories: India, Philippines and Chile
1990s2010Early2000s MidtoLate2000s
Mid2000s Late2000s
20072010 2010
Source: (Fernandez-Stark et al., Forthcoming-b)
Originally GVC analysis was limited to research on economic development and competitiveness in
traditional extractive and manufacturing industries. Nowadays, this analysis has been expanded in
several directions to encompass emergent industries such as offshore services and green
technologies, the links between social and environment upgrading, and a renewed interest in
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workforce development. This section includes several examples of the increasingly diverse
application of GVC analysis.2
1. Globalizing Service Sectors in the World Economy: Offshore
Global value chain methodology has proven quite useful in the analysis of services. While the actual
sequence of events from production to consumption of a service is short, GVC analysis allows for the
incorporation of all of the services supplied within an industry, ranging from very simple tasks to
highly sophisticated interactions into one chain. The following example of offshore services illustrates
how the GVC framework provides insight into a complex industry and serves as a guide for
potential upgrading trajectories.
Offshore Services
Structural changes in the world economy during the past decade have facilitated the global
outsourcing of multinational corporations (MNCs), thereby creating the offshore services industry, a
new and rapidly growing sector in developing countries (Gereffi & Fernandez-Stark, 2010b, p. 1).
Information technology (IT) now allows for quick and easy information transfer. Companies looking
to improve their efficiency levels in the global economy, reduce costs and increase flexibility (Lopez
et al., 2008) unbundled their corporate functions, such as human resource management, customer
support, accounting and finance, and procurement operations, and “offshored” these activities
(Gospel & Sako, 2008; Sako, 2006). This reduced the burden of support activities and allowed
firms to focus on their core business. The increasing participation of developing countries in this new
industry highlights the growing capabilities of the South, not only at the production level but also in
creating the knowledge behind the products. The offshore services sector in 2010 accounted for
2For a broader mix of industries, see projects listed on the Duke CGGC website,
3 For more information see Fernandez-Stark, Karina, Penny Bamber and Gary Gereffi. (Forthcoming). "The
Offshore Services Value Chain: Upgrading Trajectories in Developing Countries." Additional information can be
found on the CGGC website:
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US$252 billion in revenues and employed over 4 million people globally, most of whom are in
developing countries.
The offshore services industry has evolved continuously since its inception, making efforts at
categorization challenging. Despite these complexities, a fairly comprehensive, yet flexible,
classification of the industry has emerged employing the GVC framework (Gereffi & Fernandez-
Stark, 2010a), which uses firm-level analysis to determine the different stages of production of a
good or service and the value of each component (Gereffi & Kaplinsky, 2001). For manufacturing
and extractive industries based on goods, value-added is determined by the difference between
the cost of the inputs and outputs at each stage of the chain. In the case of the offshore services
industry, measuring value is complicated by the lack of reliable company-level data and trade
statistics for services (Sturgeon & Gereffi, 2009). The rapid evolution of the industry has impeded
previous attempts to categorize it, complicating the measurement of the offshore services themselves
(ECLAC, 2008, Chapter II; UNCTAD, 2009, Chapter III).
To partially address this problem, the value of different services in the offshore services value chain
can be related to skill levels and work experience, that is, the human capital inputs of offshore
services. Human capital is a key determinant of value creation and success in service exports from
developing countries. Saez & Goswami (2010) find positive and significant correlation between
human capital and service exports after controlling for institutional variables and electronic
infrastructure. In addition, research by Nyahoho (2010) on the importance of factor intensity as a
determinant of trade also shows that human capital is clearly related to exports of information
services, while Shingal (2010) finds that human capital is one of three key variables that have the
biggest impact on bilateral service trade.
A classification of the offshore services value chain is presented in Figure 7 below. The first
categorization refers to three broad types of offshore services that can be provided across all
industries (general business services): information technology outsourcing (ITO), business process
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outsourcing (BPO), and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO). The second categorization refers to
services that are industry specific. Firms providing general business services tend to be process-
oriented, while those in the vertical chains must have industry-specific expertise and their services
may have limited applicability in other industries. For general business services, all activities are
related to supporting generic business functions, such as network management, application
integration, payroll, call centers, accounting, and human resources. In addition, they include higher-
value services, such as market intelligence, business analytics, and legal services (referred to as KPO
in this paper). Within these services, ITO contains a full spectrum of low- middle- and high-value
activities of the offshore services chain; BPO activities are in the low and middle segments, while
KPO activities are in the highest-value segment of the chain.
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Figure 7. The Offshore Services Global Value Chain
ApplicationsM anageme nt
Desktopmana geme nt
(Custome r
(HumanReso urce
Managem ent )
(Enterp rise
Resou rce
Finance &
Account ing
Mana gem ent
Tra ining
Rec ruiti ng Contact
Manag ement
Mana gem ent
Inform ation Technology Outs ourcing
Business P rocess O utsourcing
Knowledge Process Outsourcing
General Business Activities
Industry Specific
Servicesan d
Ex.IndustrialEngineer ing
Ret ail
Health/ Pharma
Ex.R&D ,clinicaltrials,
Trave l&
Revenue management
system s,customerloyal ty
solu ti ons
MarketI nte llige nce
Ener gy
Ex.Ene rgy Tradin gandRisk
Manage me nt ,andDigital
oilfie ld solu tions
(Ent erpri seResourcePlanning ):
manufacturing/operations,supplychainmanageme nt,
InfrastructureM anageme nt
Value Added
Notes: a Industry specific: Each industry has its own value chain. Within each of these chains, there are associated services that
can be offshored. This diagram captures the industries with the highest demand for offshore services.
b This graphical depiction of industry specific services does not imply value levels. Each industry may include ITO, BPO and
advanced activities.
Source: (Gereffi & Fernandez-Stark, 2010a). See
Within the GVC framework, upgrading can be classified in four different ways: process upgrading,
product upgrading, functional upgrading and chain or inter-sectoral upgrading (Humphrey &
Schmitz, 2002). Adapting this scheme to our case evidence, five principal upgrading trajectories
can be identified from the 10 country case studies we are examining: Entry into the value chain;
upgrading within the BPO segment; offering full package services; the expansion of IT firms into
KPO services; and the specialization of firms in vertical industries. These five upgrading trajectories
are presented in Figure 8.
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Figure 8. Examples of Upgrading Trajectories in the Offshore Services Value Chain
Type Diagram* Description
Entry into the
Value Chain
Common way to enter the offshore services value chain is through the
establishment of call center operations.
Opportunity for low-income countries to enter into the knowledge economy.
Recent examples of countries entering the value chain through call centers
include El Salvador (Dell, Sykes and Teleperformance), Nicaragua (Sitel),
Panama (HP and Caterpillar) and Guatemala (Exxon Mobil, ACS and 24/7
Customer) (Gereffi, Castillo et al., 2009).
Upgrading within
Companies expand their BPO services within the segment.
Improving and expanding call centers operations or specialization in certain
South Africa has been an important destination for BPO services currently
employing around 87,000 people and growing at 33% per year. South Africa
is actively working in expanding their BPO activities (Everest Group and
Letsema Consulting, 2008; Sykes, 2010) .
Broad Spectrum
Companies positioned in the ITO and KPO segments may opt to provide a
more comprehensive range of activities and include BPO services.
Acquisitions of smaller BPO firms and/or creating a new business unit
within the company.
India has seen a number of firms in the IT and consulting (KPO) segment
expand to the BPO sector. This is true for both big domestic firms like
Infosys, Wipro and also foreign firms located in India like IBM and Accenture
among others.
Upgrading from ITO
to KPO functions
(Functional Upgrading)
IT service firms include KPO activities in their portfolio.
IT companies engage customers to find solutions for unsolved business
problems .
For example, between 2002 and 2005, Indian firms Infosys, Wipro, TCS and
WNS amongst others developed and launched business consulting services
Companies offering some ITO, BPO and KPO services for a wide range of
industries start specializating and focus on key industries to develop
The Czech Republic, which entered into the offshore services industry
through the establishment of BPO shared services activities, has quickly
upgraded into R&D segments of vertical industries, particularly in the
automotive, aerospace and IT areas (Business and Innovation Center- Brno,
Source: (Fernandez-Stark et al., Forthcoming-b)
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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2. Emerging Industries: Clean Technologies (Low-Carbon and
Global value chain analysis has been helpful in mapping out the value chain of emerging industries
based on key new technologies to gauge the possibilities for job creation in a “green” economy and
to analyze energy efficiency best practices for industry. Two cases are included below to illustrate
how GVC methodology is applied to clean technologies: the U.S. value chain for manufacturing
railcars and the U.S. smart grid.
a. U.S. Manufacture of Rail Vehicles4
Clean energy transportation has become a priority in the United States in order to promote clean
technology and U.S. jobs. Transportation accounts for 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and
70% of the nation’s oil use. Duke CGGC reports on clean energy transportation (e.g., public transit
buses, rail vehicles, and lithium-ion batteries for electric cars) highlight technologies that can reduce
carbon emissions and oil dependence, while creating U.S. manufacturing jobs. The value chain
approach is well suited to this task because its input-output analysis allows us to identify the major
manufacturing activities in each stage of the value chain, and then we can identify the companies
that participate in these chains and the geographic locations where jobs within the value chain are
located. The U.S. manufacture of rail vehicles is of particular relevance to job creation because it
also involves the maintenance and upgrading of the extensive infrastructure needed for passenger
and freight railcars.
Since the 1950s, the United States has invested far more heavily in highways and air transport than
in rail transportation. There are signs, however, that the nation is beginning to step up its commitment
to rail by increasing funds for intercity passenger rail (Amtrak) and urban transit rail (metros, light
rail and streetcars). The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided a total of
4 For more details see: Lowe, Marcy, Saori Tokuoka, Kristen Dubay, and Gary Gereffi. (2010). “U.S. Manufacture
of Rail Vehicles for Intercity Passenger Rail and Urban Transit: A Value Chain Analysis.”
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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$17.7 billion for transit (including bus transit) and intercity rail programs combined,5 including $1.3
billion for Amtrak and $8 billion for new high-speed rail corridors and intercity passenger rail.
These are small investments compared to those in other countries with well-developed rail systems,
but they constitute a watershed in the nation’s commitment to passenger rail, and they have been
presented as a “down payment” on future investments (White House, 2010). Similarly, current
proposals for the much-anticipated renewal of the nation’s six-year surface transportation bill call
for significantly greater commitments to public transit, including rail.
Key findings:
The supply chain includes at least 249 U.S. manufacturing locations in 35 states.
While U.S. domestic content rules have ensured that 60% of content is U.S.-made, higher-
value activities are still mostly performed abroad
The U.S. value chain includes several gaps—specific manufacturing activities that are not
typically performed in the United States
Manufacture and assembly of passenger and transit railcars and locomotives comprise an
estimated 10,000 to 14,000 U.S. jobs
These jobs may have a more positive impact than their numbers suggest.
Growing the U.S. industry will require committing much larger and more consistent U.S.
investments to intercity passenger and urban transit rail
Several additional measures can help develop the U.S. industry and capture higher value
activities in the supply chain.
To determine the extent of U.S. manufacturing potential and show where it lies, the report mapped
out the U.S. supply chain for six railcar types: intercity passenger, high speed, regional, metro, light
rail, and streetcars (see Figure 9 below). Key features of the value chain approach that can be
seen in Figure 9 include: the mapping of economic activities in terms of tiered suppliers; the
identification of discrete subassemblies within each tier; and the overlay of main companies onto the
value chain.
5 Calculation by Michael Renner, Senior Researcher at Worldwatch Institute, based on data from the
GovernmentAccountability Office, Federal Transit Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration.
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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Figure 9. U.S. Value Chain for Passenger and Transit Rail Vehicles
MostOEMSandtr an sitage nc ie s’facilities
Trac t i o n motors
Bombardie r
Tosh iba
SnyderEqui pme nt
FaiveleyTran spo rt
AmericanSe ating
USSCGr oup
FaiveleyTranspo rt
MerakNor thAmerica
MitsubishiEle ctr ic
Zodiac Monogram
Dellner Couplers
Wheelset (14)
EllconNatio nal
LinIndustrie s
MatrixMe tals
FaiveleyTranspor t
Inve rte r
Aircompr essor
Unite dStreetcar
syst em(6)
Bombardie r
Electr ic (MELCO)
Rockwe ll
syst ems
Suspensio n(7)
Bradke nCastings
GMTInter natio nal
Timke nbearing
Elastic mate ri al
Tran ste ch of
Brinc ker Hoff
Tran spo rtation
Bech tel
Parts us ed for diesel electric
and electric diesel propuls ion
Nippon Sharyo is the car
builder, with Sumitomo as
project manager
* N
iche firm (vintage streetcars)
Note: Each number in ( )
indicates numb er of firms
Passenge r/ Metr o/
LRT/Stre et cars(15)
Bombardie rInc
Nipp onSharyo
USA/ SumitomoCorp.
Unite dStreetcar
AlstomUSAIn c
Tec Tran
Source: (Lowe et al., 2010),
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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b. U.S. Smart Grid6
The smart grid is often referred to as an “energy internet”—a decentralized system that turns the
electric power infrastructure into a two-way network. This smart system allows utilities and customers
to share information in real time so they can more effectively manage electricity use. The Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) estimates that a fully deployed smart grid could reduce the
U.S. electricity sector’s energy and emissions by 12% in 2030.7 Even greater savings would accrue
from tapping the smart grid as an enabler of clean energy sources. If accompanied by substantial
support for decentralized power, renewable power, and electric vehicles, smart grid could reduce
energy and emissions by an estimated 525 million metric tons, or 18% of the total from the electric
sector (PNNL, 2010).
The United States is among the global leaders in smart grid development, which is expected to
create tens of thousands of jobs annually in coming years. Previous research suggests that for each
$1 million in investment, a range of 4.3 to 8.9 direct and indirect jobs will be created.8 For
example, global energy consulting firm KEMA, using the low end of this range, estimated that
278,600 U.S. smart grid jobs will be created by 2012, including jobs with utilities, contractors, and
suppliers (KEMA, 2009).
The report on U.S. Smart Grid prepared by Duke CGGC focuses on the subset of these jobs
represented by the broad array of supplier firms involved, including those that have traditionally
provided electric equipment and those that provide information technology (IT), core
communications, smart hardware, energy services, energy management, telecom service, and system
integration. The report examines 125 leading smart grid firms in order to help assess their potential
role in creating jobs. These lead firms provide hardware, software and services, which are divided
6 For more details, see the report: Lowe, Marcy, Hua Fan and Gary Gereffi. (2011). “U.S. Smart Grid: Finding
New Ways to Cut Carbon and Create Jobs.”
7 Baseline 2030 emissions as forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA).
8 4.3 multiplier is calculated from (KEMA, 2009); 8.9 multiplier is from (Robert Pollin, 2009).
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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into nine broad categories of smart grid technologies. Where possible, the report identifies what
hardware, software and services each firm provides, and in which U.S. locations the relevant
manufacturing and product development occurs.
The U.S. value chain for smart grid vendors is found in Figure 10. The left-to-right structure begins
with power generation, moves through transmission and distribution, and ends with consumption. This
roughly parallels the process in which electric power is delivered to the customer: first electricity is
generated, then it is stepped up by transformers to a high voltage so it can be transmitted over
long distances (similar to the way high water pressure is needed to transport water), then it arrives
at a substation, where it is stepped back down to a lower voltage that is safer for local distribution.
Most smart grid activity is focused not on transmission but on the distribution side of the chain—the
part that stretches from the substation to the customer.9 As for the hardware, software and services
that make up the smart grid market, they can be thought of as two market segments. In the first
market (utility side), products for generation, transmission and distribution are largely sold by
vendors to utilities. In the second market (consumer side), products tend to be sold directly to
consumers, often with utilities’ close cooperation (Kanellos, 2010).
In the value chain the main functional categories (eight colored boxes with headings in bold) are
divided into major product types (white boxes). Selected leading U.S. vendors are listed for each
product (hardware in black font, software and/or services in red).
9 GTM Research analyst David Leeds writes, “The challenges at the transmission level are less about adding
intelligence, and more about ensuring that there are adequate amounts of transmission to move bulk power to
where it is most needed” (Leeds, 2009a).
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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Figure 10. U.S. Smart Grid Vendor Value Chain
Generation Transmission&Distribution Consumption
Mete rdatamanagement
Elste r
integr ator
Google ,PeoplePower,Ten dri l
Keyinstitut ions:u tilities,publicutilitycommissions,investor s,U.S.DOE,industrygroups,R&Dinstitutions,standardse ttingorganizations,testingse rvic es
LGElec tro nic s
Commer cialand
Honeywe ll
Rockwell Automatio n
Ener gyHu b
Adura Technologies
Remo te energy
Direc tGrid
Enphase Energy Fronius
Inst allation
Gridint er connectio n
Curt ailment service
Cons tell ation Ener gy
Ener NOC
Honeywe ll
inter connect ion
Ingete am
MitsubishiElec tric
Ener gystor age
AESEn er gy
S&CElectr ic
Ener Del ( Ener1 )
Gridinte rconnect
Bette rPlace
BrightAu tomoti ve
Garr ettC om
S&CElectr ic
S&CElectri c
cont ro l
Digitalcontr oller s
Devicemanufacturinginblac kfont
Softwar eand/or servi cesinredfont
Datacent er
Ver die m
Tele com s
Ver izon
Source: (Lowe et al., 2011). See
Key findings:
334 U.S. relevant employee locations in 39 states. See the map below (Figure 11).
Smart grid provides a way for well-established firms to transition from traditional products into
new areas, including new manufacturing opportunities.
The fast-growing global market for smart grid technologies presents valuable export opportunities
to be tapped by U.S. firms, large and small.
Future U.S. job creation by product vendors will likely concentrate in high-value IT innovations,
product development, and systems design and engineering
Regardless of where smart grid products are made, many additional U.S. smart grid jobs will be
located in the service territories of participating utilities, which means they cannot be off-shored.
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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Figure 11. Relevant Employee Locations of Leading U.S. Smart Grid Vendors
Note: Software development and services (63 sites) is an undercount, since these activities often are also performed at company
headquarter sites.
Source: (Lowe et al., 2011).
As with the U.S. railcar study, a value chain approach to the U.S. smart grid illustrates all four
dimensions of GVC analysis: (1) it highlights the complex input-output structure of the industry with
an emphasis on core techologies and key subassemblies; (2) it maps the relevant geography of the
industry, in this case in terms of a national frame of reference; (3) it indicates the major companies
that are involved in different stages of the value chain, and those companies that occupy high-
technology and other strategic nodes of the chain are identified and discussed in the report; and (4)
the institutional context of the industry is analyzed in terms of the opportunities for policy
interventions that would improve upgrading outcomes and the trade-offs that expansion of this
sector would entail for economic and social actors.
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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3. Linking Social and Economic Upgrading10
The concepts of social and economic upgrading are important factors within global value chains.
They contribute to more sustainable growth and development. Economic upgrading stimulates
innovation and competitiveness among firms. Social upgrading promotes employment based on
decent work and respect for labor standards. However, how the two relate, and what strategies can
help to combine them, require further analysis. The limited research available confirms that
economic upgrading can result in social upgrading, but this does not happen automatically. Thus,
economic upgrading can be related to declines in employment and to deteriorating working
conditions. However, it is not clear how economic and social upgrading affect different groups of
firms and producers defined according to size, position in the value chain, or formality, as well as
different groups of workers defined according to income, skills, formality, or gender. These are
topics that ongoing research is addressing.
In 2009 a group of GVC academics launched the program, “Capturing the Gains: Economic and
Social Upgrading in Global Production and Trade” supported by the UK Department for
International Development (DFID) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.11 The
program provides a new approach to understanding economic development, and offers a fresh
perspective on development policy in a global economy. This research aims to ensure that
participation in a global economy translates into better jobs for workers in developing countries,
promoting the concept of decent work and respect for labor standards. Cross-country sector studies
explore the national, regional and global dynamics between lead firms in the North and emerging
lead firms in the South. The “Capturing the Gains” research program explores the role of private
sector, civil society, national governments and international organizations in securing real gains for
poorer workers and producers in the South, including the four emerging economies of India, China,
10 For more information see Barrientos, Stephanie, Gary Gereffi and Arianna Rossi. (2010). “Economic and Social
Upgrading in Global Production Networks: Developing a Framework for Analysis.”
11 See
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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Brazil, and South Africa, and a number of less-developed countries in four sectors (horticulture,
apparel, mobile telecommunication devices and tourism)..
Recently, Barrientos et al. (2010) have developed a framework for examining the linkages between
the economic upgrading of firms and the social upgrading of workers. The study explores different
trajectories and scenarios in order to consider under what circumstances both firms and workers can
gain from a process of upgrading. A simplified typology is used to identify five types of GVCs that
combine different categories of work (varying the skill levels) with different types of industries (that
vary in their labor-, capital- and technological intensity). Figure 12 shows graphically how different
GVCs can involve different combinations of low-skill, labor-intensive and higher-skill, technology-
intensive work.
If we compare agriculture, manufacturing, and services, all five types of work are present in each
sector. However, there are significant differences in the proportions of each type of work across
various industries within these sectors. Agro-food involves a relatively large proportion of small
scale and low-skill labour-intensive production, particularly at the farm level. Within manufacturing,
if we compare industries that can be classified as relatively low-tech (apparel), medium-tech
(automotive), and high-tech (electronics), the low-skilled and household-based types of work
decrease, and the relative importance of knowledge-intensive and highly-skilled work increases. This
progression at the work level is associated with economic upgrading. As we move to more
technology- and knowledge-intensive GPNs, such as IT, we find that labour-intensive production
does not disappear but is relatively lower.
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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Figure 12. Typology of Workforce Composition across Different Industries
Source: (Barrientos et al., 2010)
A key task for GVC analysis is to explain the conditions under which the economic upgrading of
firms and the social upgrading of workers can be mutually reinforcing. Figure 13 below provides
one step in that direction by identifying the main commercial and social drivers of economic and
social upgrading that are likely to operate in the industries that one might wish to study.
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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Figure 13. Commercial and Social Drivers for Up/Downgrading
EconomicUp/Downgrading SocialUp/Downgrading
SocialDrivers Policiesandregulations:
EconomicUp/Downgrading SocialUp/Downgrading
SocialDrivers Policiesandregulations:
Source: Gary Gereffi and Joonkoo Lee.
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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4. Workforce Development
A final illustration of new applications of GVC analysis is the topic of workforce development. Duke
CGGC together with RTI International has been working to understand workforce development
issues using the GVC methodology. This undertaking incorporated a multi-industry and multi-country
analysis of upgrading trajectories and workforce initiatives that helped to drive these shifts. The
industry and country cases selected are: (1) fruit and vegetables (Chile, Kenya, Morocco, Jordan
and Honduras); (2) apparel (Turkey, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nicaragua and Lesotho); (3) offshore
services (India, The Philippines, Chile and Central American Countries); and (4) tourism (Costa Rica,
Vietnam and Jordan).
In each segment of these value chains, Duke CGGC found that workers required specific skills that
frequently are regulated by global rather than local actors. Figure 14 below provides a summary
of workforce development implications in the offshore services value chain. It was found that
developing countries in offshore services are engaging in market-driven development—acquiring
capabilities to upgrade services (providing better services, expanding the number of services
or/and offering higher value added services)—through significant investments in workforce training
and managerial capabilities, provided initially by private offshore service providers but now
increasingly supported by an expanded range of public, private, and multi-sector initiatives. Far
from a race to the bottom, involvement in the offshore services industry has provided developing
country workers, firms, and governments with an attractive opportunity to build the skill-based
competencies required to meet the demands of global service markets.
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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Figure 14 Examples of Upgrading Trajectories in the Offshore Services Value Chain and
Workforce Development Initiatives
Type Diagram Workforce Development Initiatives
Entry into the
Value Chain
Call centers hire people with high school diplomas or bachelor’s degrees.
Further skills training is provided by the company.
In Guatemala, inter-institutional alliances were created to promote call center and
BPO skills training. Intecap, a technical training institution funded through a 1% levy
on salaries has been central to these initiatives (ECLAC, 2009).
Type of skills preparation
Short training Institutions involved
Private sector
Upgrading within the
BPO Segment
(Functional Upgrading)
Skills development is carried out by the private sector, either through in-house or
contracted training programs.
Educational institutions and governments help to develop course content and
provide scholarships.
In South Africa, the government created the BPO Support Programme to generate
more jobs. The program includes training for 35,000 direct jobs and 4,000 in middle
management. (Business Trust- South Africa, 2010).
Type of skills preparation
Short Training
Formal education (degree
Institutions involved
Private sector
Tertiary educational institutions
Full Package Services
(Functional Expansion)
Expansive hiring process targets candidates with high school diploma and/or
colleges graduates to work in this industry.
New hires must first complete BPO training programs to guarantee quality
services. This refers to the same training offered in the “Upgrading within the BPO
In the early 2000s in India, there was a significant push into the BPO segment by ITO
and KPO firms. Recruiting was the central aspect to this expansion, and firms
focused particularly on hiring women from middle class background.
Type of skills preparation
Short training
Formal education (degree
Institutions involved
Private sector
Upgrading from ITO
to KPO functions
(Chain Upgrading)
Personnel with higher education qualifications recruited. Typically MBA
graduates and workers with business experience These workers must have sharp
analytical skills.
Legal Process Outsourcing requires qualified lawyers. By 2015, LPO will employee
17,000 professionals (Evalueserve, 2010). These lawyers undergo similar training as
in the US.
Type of skills preparation
Formal education (degree
Institutions involved
Tertiary educational institutions
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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(Chain Upgrading)
Companies hire area experts to sustain their competitive advantage in specific
For example, a BPO company providing medical trainscrption services must hire
nurses and doctors to ensure accurate service provision.
In the Czech Republic, the government has been incentivizing advanced degress
suchs as Masters and PhD degrees. Masters students accounted for 40% of the
university student population (Goglio, 2006). Today there are more than 73,000
technical university students engaged in R&D in different areas.
Type of skills preparation
Formal education (degree
Usually MA and PhD degrees
Institutions involved
Tertiary educational institutions
Process Upgrading
Companies undertake process improvements to upgrade their global
For example, Siemens has specific strategies for organizational training on CMMI
(one of the most popular process improvement certification in this industry). The
strategy consist on defining the jobs skills necessaries, assess who need the training,
train workers with skill gaps, record progress and monitor new skills gaps (Hefner &
Yellayi, 2005).
Type of skills preparation
Internal training Institutions involved
Private sector
Certification Institutes (on-site or online)
Source: (Fernandez-Stark et al., Forthcoming-a).
Globalization has given rise to a new era of international competition that is best understood by
looking at the global organization of industries and how countries rise and fall within these
industries. The global value chains framework has evolved from its academic origins to become a
major paradigm used by a wide range of international organizations, like the World Bank, the
International Labor Organization, the U.K. Department for International Development, and the U.S.
Agency for International Development. Global value chains highlight how new patterns of
international trade, production, and employment shape the prospects for development and
competitiveness, using core concepts like “governance” and “upgrading.”
On the governance side, global value chains are becoming more consolidated (Cattaneo et al.,
2010). Large multinational manufacturers, retailers, and marketers who manage global sourcing
networks are proclaiming that they want fewer, larger and more capable suppliers, and they will
operate in a reduced number of strategic locations around the world. This is likely to promote a
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
Page 36
higher degree of regional sourcing, with suppliers located close to the major consumer markets in
North America, Western Europe, and East Asia. In terms of upgrading, this offers some hope for
small regional suppliers, but organizing efficient and sustainable value chains at the regional level
remains challenging.
Today we are at a historic juncture. Decision-makers concerned with the role that GVCs may play in
promoting development face difficulties in adjusting to a world in which the primary drivers in
global production and trade are emerging economies. Until recently, trade integration and growth
in many developing countries were fuelled by the insertion of local producers in GVCs feeding into
high-income markets, in particular North America, Europe and Japan, and in chains led by firms
from high-income economies. Recently, however, low growth or stagnation in the historically
dominant Northern economies along with sustained growth in emerging countries, in particular China
and India, have spurred a shift in the primary drivers in trade and growth to emerging economies
with crucial implications for global demand, structures of production and innovation. In some cases,
the shift in global demand to emerging economies has forced developing country suppliers to sell
final goods at cheaper prices and lower level of processing than in the past, which amounts to
downgrading in terms of their participation in the global economy (Kaplinsky & Farooki,
These new developments represent a potential change in the center of gravity for economic growth,
with significant implications for GVCs, employment and innovation, and the strategy of governments
and firms in developing countries. Globalization’s benefits will continue to be unevenly distributed,
with its gains going to those with more education, skills, wealth, and power. However, the inclusion
of large emerging economies like China, India, Brazil and Mexico among those who are benefitting,
at least in part, is a qualitative shift in the process. But it does not necessarily improve the chances
for smaller countries in the global economy unless they devise policies to enhance their own
capabilities to foster development.
Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer
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... The value chain is "the full range of activities that firms and workers perform to bring a product from its conception to end use and beyond" (Gereffi and Fernandez-Stark, 2016). In the global value chain (GVC), these activities are performed globally, each country differing in the value-added activities and trade they are engaged in (Gereffi and Fernandez-Stark, 2016;Hernández and Pedersen, 2017). ...
... The value chain is "the full range of activities that firms and workers perform to bring a product from its conception to end use and beyond" (Gereffi and Fernandez-Stark, 2016). In the global value chain (GVC), these activities are performed globally, each country differing in the value-added activities and trade they are engaged in (Gereffi and Fernandez-Stark, 2016;Hernández and Pedersen, 2017). Frederick (2019) identify four main parts of a GVC map at a macroscopic level, including (1) the categories of value-adding activities that are essential to bring the product from conception to end users, (2) supply chain stages, presenting the overall input/output structure of the product flow and the processes in the value chain, (3) the supporting environment, comprising of the institutional actors enforcing legal or societal constraints on the participants of the value chain at a local or global level, and (4) end markets. ...
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Highlights • Highlights the pressing contemporary need to map globally dispersed supply chains. • Presents a hierarchy of supply systems to enable effective mapping studies. • Identifies primary and secondary data sources to create supply chain maps. • Discusses the many challenges in mapping supply chains and emerging solutions. • Illustrates the mapping approach for the global textile and apparel industry.
... However, this depends on the prices of soybeans and oilcake and the terms on which poultry producers can access commercial animal feed. Achieving competitive poultry value chains, in part through the increased production of soybean in the region, depends on how poultry value chains are governed, both nationally and regionally, including the influence of lead firms (Gereffi, and Fernandez-Stark, 2011). ...
Technical Report
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The ESA region continues to be a net importer of poultry products despite increased soybean production in Malawi and Zambia as inputs into poultry feed, together with investments in breeding operations in Zambia for the supply of day-old chicks. This paper provides a comparative analysis of poultry markets in Kenya, Malawi and Zambia to assess competition and competitiveness in the regional animal feed to poultry value chain. We find that while there is potential for substantial expansions in soybean and maize production to ensure competitively priced animal feed and poultry production across the region, it is being stymied by markets which are not working well. Prices for maize, and in some instances soybeans, have been substantially lower than international prices, yet prices to poultry producers of feed, as well as day-old chicks, have been very high and the poultry industry within and across countries is not competitive or inclusive. We propose the need to reshape the poultry value chain, and agricultural markets more widely; including through appropriate policies to support resilient and inclusive regional value chains, monitoring markets in real time as climate change implies more frequent and deeper shocks to agricultural production, and ramping up regional competition enforcement to make regional markets work more effectively.
... As two-thirds of the world's poor livestock keepers are rural women (Kristjanson et al., 2014), and to increase women's ability to participate in and benefit from the vaccine value chain, which is from production to the final consumer (Gereffi et al., 2011), an analysis of the barriers and opportunities that exist for their engagement was carried out in South Eastern Kenya. ...
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p> Background. Traditionally, poultry is kept and reared by women in extensive production systems. In Kenya and most developing countries, smallholder poultry productivity is constrained by diseases such as Newcastle disease (ND), which is preventable via a vaccine, yet contributes to significant morbidity and mortality among flocks primarily owned and managed by women in villages. Objective. This study aimed to map the Newcastle disease vaccine value chain stakeholders and identify the barriers and opportunities for women's engagement along the Newcastle disease vaccine value chain. Methodology . Qualitative data were collected with 15 key informant interviews and four focus group discussions with a total of 42 poultry farmers in Machakos Town sub-county, Kenya. Results. The majority of the vaccine value chain consumers were women, and limited information was one of the root causes for not vaccinating their chickens. Vaccines were considered expensive and difficult to access as the production areas were remote from the agrovet shops that retail vaccines. Implication. The study showed that women farmers had no financial control to enable vaccine procurement. Conclusion . Based on the results the government using the Extension service providers should train smallholder farmers on how to use the ND vaccine. Furthermore, manufacturers of thermo-stable ND vaccines should furnish Agrovet shops with data to enable its adoption in remote areas where the cold chain is unreliable. </p
... Due to the cost advantages and increasing manufacturing capabilities, the production of a wide range of products has been carried out in the Far East and low-cost countries. From the point of view of value creation and appropriation, global lead firms have managed to control much of the value produced within the GVC in relation to the extreme of the smiling curve, R&D and design, branding, or retail [8,9]. At the same time, there is a massive concentration of production in low-cost and emerging economies, where China, in particular, plays a key role in supplying international markets with a large volume of products, either for other producers or conclusive for customers. ...
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COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the fashion industry. Fashion brands had to restructure their value chains and refine their strategies to overcome the negative consequences of the lockdown. An analysis of the Italian fashion industry is used to examine how companies responded to the challenges of the pandemic and how they were able to find competitive solutions. Qualitative analysis is used to discuss the case of Italy, a country that was particularly affected by COVID-19. The research shows that companies invested in three different directions to overcome the obstacles posed by the COVID-19 emergency: refocusing on manufacturing, investing in sustainability (especially social), and relying on digital technologies (e.g., e-commerce and videoconferencing) to interact with remote customers. The theoretical and practical contributions of this study are discussed.
... GVCs represent a way to organize the production of goods and services globally (Eurostat, 2021). These GVCs encompass a range of activities or tasks required to take a product or service from conception to market and beyond (Gereffi & Fernandez-Stark, 2016;Sturgeon, 2013). Based on Gereffi and Korzeniewicz (1994), the phenomenon of organizationally fragmented international production has been studied in a variety of academic disciplines, including economic sociology, international economics, regional and development studies, economic geography, international political economy, supply chain management, international business (IB), and operations management (Kano et al., 2020). ...
This paper presents a bibliometric analysis of the global value chains (GVC) research field. To identify the most influential authors and contributions, potential collaboration networks, most discussed topics, and areas of further research opportunities within or related to the GVCresearch field, we applied the five most common bibliometric methods, namely citation, co-citation, co-author, and co-word analysis, and bibliometric coupling method. Our dataset for quantitative analysis of available articles, authors, and publication outlets in the GVC research field includes 2,506 articles, book chapters, books, and conference papers from 1,047 different sources in the Web of Science database published between the years 1999 and 2021. Our analysis provided a structured and thorough bibliometric overview of the GVC research field, including the years of the COVID -19 pandemic. The results show that the most frequently researched topics include GVC governance, trade, innovation, and production networks. We also identified future GVC-related bibliometric research streams, such as linking GVCs to international sourcing, corporate functions, and firm performance.
In this paper, I aim to provide empirical evidence about how an efficient integration into global value chains can promote economic growth through industrial upgrading and prevention of external imbalances in Latin America (LATAM). I define US-China political economics in this region for the period from 1998 to 2015. The research uses TiVA raw data that I obtained from the UNCTAD-EORA database for the US, China, and nine major economies in LATAM. The development of global value chains has brought unprecedented alternatives for commercial alliances and industrial strategies to developing countries. An effective integration of LATAM onto global value chains through forward linkages or increases in indirect value added (DVX) can strengthen both their industrial development and manufacturing industries to achieve the macroeconomic goal of long-term economic growth. China as the world’s fastest growing economy when trade is measured by the value added has stimulated forward linkages and economic development throughout several developing countries within the ASEAN+3, EU -13, and LATAM since 1998. However, strategic competition with the US has prevented China from further expanding its value chain to LATAM. Therefore, the whole region endures a peripherical position in relation to global value chains, as it is still too reliant on lower value-added investments in extractive industries. Yet strengthening TiVA exchanges with China, along with the US, is critical to broadening the alternatives for a sound and sustainable economic development in LATAM.
Le concept de compétence universelle est issu du droit international pénal. Il désigne l’habilitation des juridictions nationales répressives à connaître d’une affaire lorsque l’ensemble de ses éléments sont localisés dans un autre État que celui dont relève le juge saisi. En dépit d’une idée parfois véhiculée, la compétence universelle n’est pas l’apanage des crimes « les pires ». Elle est d’abord et avant tout une technique au service des juges nationaux afin de lutter contre l’impunité de certaines infractions. Son étude du point de vue du droit du travail se justifie par l’intérêt que peut susciter une telle technique pour les personnes travaillant pour le compte d’une entreprise transnationale ou d’une chaîne globale de valeur et pour lesquels il n’existe aucune garantie d’accéder à un juge en cas de violation de leurs droits au travail. En effet, ceux-ci sont exposés à un risque de déni de justice qui découle, d’une part, de l’inaptitude des tribunaux locaux à instruire un procès impliquant une entreprise dont le poids économique et politique dépasse celui de l’appareil judiciaire et, d’autre part, de l’incompétence de tout autre juge. Les dispositifs mis en place dans le cadre de la Responsabilité sociale des entreprises pas plus que les instruments régionaux de protection des droits de l’Homme garantissent à ces salariés l’accès à la justice. La compétence universelle du juge s’avère dont être une technique utile pour ces travailleurs. Mais c’est aussi une technique opérationnelle : non seulement ses éléments caractéristiques coïncident avec les difficultés d’accès à la justice des travailleurs dans un contexte de globalisation de l’économie mais, en plus, elle est déjà en voie d’apparition dans le contentieux social transnational.
Myanmar’s external economic relations during the 2010s can be broadly characterized as processes of re-integration with the outside world, thus paying the way for diversification away from dependence on its preeminent neighbor, China. A close examination, however, reveals a complex set of dynamics in Myanmar–China economic relations, particularly in the trade sector. A sectoral value chain analysis shows that Myanmar’s trade dependence on China rose rather rapidly during the early part of the decade, which was later halted by the lifting of Western sanctions. However, it was also found that the same process that helped Myanmar diversify away from China in the export sector simultaneously increased the country’s dependence on Chinese imports because of newly established global value chains. Overall trends can be explained by considering geographic scale and country positions specific to the value chains of the key export sectors of natural gas, vegetables, and garments. The findings suggest that although the lifting of sanctions was pivotal, the improvement in Myanmar’s diplomatic relations with the West during the 2010s did not linearly reduce the country’s economic dependence on China.
This paper explores the diffusion of working hours standards beyond tier-1 suppliers in the garment supply chain. It compares working hours designs and rationales of tier-1 and tier-2 garment suppliers in Jordan and garment and textiles suppliers in Egypt. Building on the idea of crossvergence, the paper extends previous insights on explanatory factors that are rooted in the supply chain and captures global, local, and firm-level rationales. The analysis followed a flexible pattern matching logic and draws on a qualitative multiple-case study encompassing 30 owner-manager interviews, 13 expert interviews, and multiple documents and field observations. Convergence to global standards was found to be higher in tier-1 compared with tier-2 garment firms and differed between the garment and the textiles industry. The study showed that labour standard demands of global buyers dissolve along the supply chain, while the price and lead time squeeze persists or increases. How suppliers navigate the antagonism of labour standard and procurement demands depends upon local level factors and firm resources. A framework of human, intellectual, physical, and financial resources was developed to capture structural differences between higher- and lower-tier suppliers. The findings underscore the need for new procurement strategies of global buyers and tier-1 suppliers, and further investments in multi-stakeholder initiatives that monitor sub-suppliers, support resource development, and address systemic barriers to labour standard compliance.
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Globalisation has become a catchword for the international economy at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The increasing importance of export-oriented industrialisation has made integration into the global economy virtually synonymous with development for a number of nations. However, there is an acute awareness that the gains from globalisation are very unevenly distributed within as well as between societies. A growing body of work analyses globalisation processes from the perspective of ‘value chains’; that is that international trade in goods and services should not be seen solely, or even mainly, as a multitude of arm’s-length market-based transactions but rather as systems of governance - involving multinational enterprises - that link firms together in a variety of sourcing and contracting arrangements. Understanding how these value chains operate is very important for developing country firms and policymakers because the way chains are structured has implications for newcomers trying to participate in the chain and to gain access to necessary skills, competences and supporting services. Most of the papers in this Bulletin build on the results of a workshop in Bellagio, Italy in September 2000, where all these issues were discussed.
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Global Value Chains in a Postcrisis World: A Development Perspective addresses questions about the 2008-2009 global economic crisis, the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The unprecedented scale of the crisis and the speed of its transmission have revealed the interdependence of the global economy and the increasing reliance by businesses on global value chains (GVCs). After reviewing the mechanisms underpinning the transmission of economic shocks in a world economy were trade and GVCs play increasing roles, the book assesses the impact of the crisis on global trade, production, and demand in a variety of sectors, including apparel, automobiles, electronics, commodities and offshore services.
Canterbery's latest literary work provides a definitive account of the Great Recession of 2007-2010. It presents an output-employment framework for evaluating the Great Recession. A chapter on the Great Depression provides a basis for comparison while outlining the institutions still intact that moderated that downturn. Finally, the aftermath of the recession is accounted for. © 2011 by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.
This edited volume is the foundation for the highly publicized research paradigm on global commodity chains (GCCs), which subsequently gave rise to the even more influential global value chains (GVCs) paradigm. All the papers assembled in this volume were presented at the 16th annual conference on the Political Economy of the World-System, held at Duke University on April 16-18, 1992. The chapters in the volume cover a diverse array of commodity chain, including: shipbuilding, grain flower, apparel, footwear, automotive, offshore services, grapes, and cocaine.
This edited volume is the foundation for the highly publicized research paradigm on global commodity chains (GCCs), which subsequently gave rise to the even more influential global value chains (GVCs) paradigm. All the papers assembled in this volume were presented at the 16th annual conference on the Political Economy of the World-System, held at Duke University on April 16-18, 1992. The chapters in the volume cover a diverse array of commodity chain, including: shipbuilding, grain flower, apparel, footwear, automotive, offshore services, grapes, and cocaine.