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The puzzle of measuring global value chains – The business statistics perspective

Peter Bøegh Nielsen

International Economics, 2018, issue 153, 69-79

Abstract: Measuring Global Value Chains (GVCs) is recognized as a prioritized but complicated challenge for statistical offices as the concept is complex. GVC’s are difficult to measure due to interlinked cross border relations of goods, services, labour and capital at the level of the individual enterprise. A focal point in GVCs is the relationship between enterprises and currently only few statistics measure directly linkages between enterprises (e.g. FATS statistics) and new types of statistical evidence needs to be developed by linking different data sources at enterprise level. Measuring GVCs consists of a number of conceptual and methodological aspects which need to be combined in an analytical framework. Pieces of the puzzle exist or are being developed already today, e.g. the Trade in Value Added (TiVA) concept, Trade by Enterprise Statistics (TEC), or Foreign Affiliates Statistics (FATS) which constitute elements of a measurement framework under elaboration but other elements are still missing, such as information on business functions, governance structures and network relations. This paper presents results of recent initiatives in business statistics within the European Statistical System addressing different aspects of GVCs by different approaches; partly by launching a new survey on international organisation and sourcing of business functions, and partly by linking existing statistical registers at enterprise level. Finally, the paper identifies new activities to be launched by the statistical community in order to improve the measurement of GVCs.

Keywords: Global value chains; Micro data linking; International sourcing; Business functions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 F23 F61 L23 L25 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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