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De-industrialization and comparative advantage in the global value chain

Michael Peneder () and Gerhard Streicher ()

Economic Systems Research, 2018, vol. 30, issue 1, 85-104

Abstract: We investigate the causes of de-industrialization and potential for re-industrialization using trade-linked input–output data from WIOD. By introducing a new global value chain measure of comparative advantage, we relate a sector's share in domestic final demand to that in production and separate the direct effect of trade on its income share. This method identifies the declining share of manufacturing value added in domestic final expenditures to be the main cause of de-industrialization. Differences in comparative advantage between countries do matter, especially in the case of employment shares, but have a limited impact via the direct trade effect on value added. The findings point to a peculiar paradox of industrial policy: precisely when it is successful in raising competitiveness and hence productivity growth of manufacturing, it also furthers the global decline of relative prices in manufacturing. In contrast to the national objectives of re-industrialization, effective industrial policies accelerate de-industrialization in the global economy.

Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1080/09535314.2017.1320274

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