Catching-up in the global factory: Analysis and policy implications

Peter J. Buckley, Roger Strange, Marcel P. Timmer, Gaaitzen J. de Vries
DOI number

MNEs shape the location of activities in the world economy, linking diverse regions in what has been called the global factory. This study portrays the evolution of incomes and employment in the global factory using a quantitative input–output approach. We find emerging economies forging ahead relative to advanced economies in income derived from fabrication activities, handling the physical transformation process of goods. In contrast, convergence in income derived from knowledge-intensive activities carried out in pre- and post-fabrication stages is much slower. We discuss possible barriers to catching-up and policy implications for emerging economies in developing innovation capabilities, stressing the pivotal role of MNEs.


Marcel Timmer

University of Groningen

Gaaitzen de Vries

University of Groningen

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