Marcel Timmer

University of Groningen

Marcel Timmer is Deputy-Director of the CPB Netherlands Bureau for of Economic Policy Analysis and professor of economic growth and development at the Groningen Growth and Development Centre at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has recently led the research program ‘Modelling Global Value Chains: a new framework to study trade, jobs and income inequality in an interdependent world’, which built on his contributions through the World Input-Output Database project ( He holds a PhD from the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands.

Jan 1, 2020
Peter J. Buckley, Roger Strange, Marcel P. Timmer, Gaaitzen J. de Vries

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

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 rel...

Jan 1, 2018
Marcel P Timmer, Sébastien Miroudot, Gaaitzen J de Vries

Functional specialisation in trade

Production processes are fragmenting across borders with countries trading tasks rather than products. Export statistics based on value added reveal a process of vertical specialisation. Yet, what do countries do when exporting? In this article, we provide novel evidence on functional specialisation...

Jan 1, 2021
Laurie S.M. Reijnders, Marcel P.Timmer, Xianjia Ye

Labour demand in global value chains: Is there a bias against unskilled work?

Rodrik (2018) hypothesizes that technology used in global value chains (GVCs) is biased against the use of unskilled workers. To test this hypothesis, we introduce a GVC production function in which final output is produced by means of factor inputs from all countries that participate in the GVC. In...

Jan 1, 2019
Stefan Pahl, Marcel P. Timmer

Do Global Value Chains Enhance Economic Upgrading? A Long View

Exporting through global value chains (GVCs) has recently been highlighted as a panacea for weak industrialisation trends in the South. We study the long-run effects of GVC participation for a large set of countries between 1970 and 2008. We find strong evidence for the positive effects on productiv...

Jan 1, 2021
Wen Chen, Bart Los, Marcel Timmer

Factor incomes in global value chains: The role of intangibles.

Recent studies document a decline in the share of labour and a simultaneous increase in the share of residual (‘factorless’) income in national GDP. We argue the need for study of factor incomes in cross-border production to complement country studies. We define a GVC production function that tr...

Jan 1, 2020
Bart Los, Marcel Timmer

Measuring bilateral exports of value added: a unified framework.

We provide a unified framework for measuring bilateral exports of value added. We outline a general methodology that encompasses the measures introduced by Johnson and Noguera (2012) (value added consumed abroad) and Los et al. (2016) (value added in exports), to which we refer as VAX-C and VAX-D, ...

Jan 1, 2019
Stefan Pahl, Marcel P. Timmer

Patterns of vertical specialisation in trade: long-run evidence for 91 countries

The authors estimate the domestic value-added content in exports of manufacturing goods (VAX-D ratio) for 91 countries over the period from 1970 to 2013. They find a strong decline in the world VAX-D ratio since the mid-1980s mostly accounted for by the substitution of foreign for domestic intermedi...

Jan 1, 2019
Stefan Pahl, Marcel P. Timmer, Reitze Gouma, Pieter J. Woltjer

Jobs in Global Value Chains: New Evidence for Four African Countries in International Perspective

What is the potential for job growth in Africa under participation in global value chains (GVCs)? In this study the concept of GVC jobs is introduced which tracks the number of jobs associated with GVC production of goods. A novel decomposition approach is used to account for GVC jobs by three proxi...

Jan 1, 2021
Marcel P. Timmer, Stefan Pahl

Structural Change in Exports: from product to functional specialization

Trade analysis on the basis of countries’ export baskets can be misleading when production is globally fragmented. The chapter argues for a switch to analysis of the type of activities that are embodied in exports. The chapter discusses two steps towards this goal. It first discusses the transit...

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