Tilman Altenburg

German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)

Tilman Altenburg leads the research programme “Transformation of Economic and Social Systems” at the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS). He received his doctorate in Economic Geography in 1991. Tilman has done empirical research on economic development in Latin America, Asia and Africa, with a focus on competitiveness, industrial and innovation policy, and value chains. His main theme is how developing countries can design economic policies that enable them to improve their position in the global economy in a way that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. Currently, he is coordinating research projects on green industrial policy in developing countries and on structural change in Africa.


Sustainable Global Supply Chains Report 2022

Global Supply Chains (GSCs) have become a key feature of globalisation. Production processes are increasingly broken down into specific tasks and organised across national borders. They are organised and governed by “lead firms” that set many of the standards according to which other firms in th...

Sustainable Global Supply Chains in Times of Geopolitical Crisis

Jann Lay, Tilman Altenburg, Melanie Müller, Tevin Tafese, Rainer Thiele, Frauke Steglich

Europäische Lieferkettenregulierung nicht aufhalten! Sie ist ein wichtiger Schritt für eine bessere Globalisierung


“Sustainable global supply chains in times of geopolitical crises” Annual Report 2023

The overarching topic of this year's report is "The Role of Geopolitics in Global Supply Chains", highlighting ways in which recent geopolitical and geo-economic developments are shaping and influencing current debates and policy processes around global supply chains (GSCs). Following...


Sustainable Global Supply Chains Report 2022

Global supply chains affect the economy, the environment and social welfare in many ways. Worldwide, economies are experiencing global supply shortages today, affecting key industries such as automotive and consumer electronics as well as vaccine and medical supplies industries. These preoccupy poli...

Tilman Altenburg, Nele Wenck, Smeeta Fokeer, and Manuel Albaladejo

Green hydrogen: Opportunities for industrial development through forward linkages from renewables

Lindsay Whitfield and Tilman Altenburg

Automation versus relocation in clothing global value chains: Will investments shift from China to Africa at a big scale?

The biggest risks for supply chains

Anna Pegels, Tilman Altenburg

Latecomer development in a “greening” world: Introduction to the Special Issue

Altenburg Tilman, Xiao Chen, Wilfried Lütkenhorst, Cornelia Staritz, Lindsay Whitfield

Exporting out of China or out of Africa? Automation versus relocation in the global clothing industry

This Discussion Paper examines the opportunities that the rising industrial wages in China will bring for Africa. China has been the industrial workbench of the global economy for decades. However, its competitive advantages are waning, particularly for labour-intensive assembly activities in the cl...

Stamm Andreas, Tilman Altenburg, Maximilian Müngersdorff, Tim Stoffel, Kasper Vrolijk

Soziale und ökologische Herausforderungen der globalen Textilwirtschaft: Lösungsbeiträge der deutschen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit

Bekleidung für den rasch wachsenden Weltmarkt wird fast ausschließlich in Entwicklungs- und Schwellenländern gefertigt. Die Produktionsbedingungen in diesen Ländern gehen mit erheblichen sozialen und ökologischen Problemen einher. Diese in den Griff zu bekommen, ist eines der wesentlichen Ziele...

Altenburg Tilman, Dani Rodrik

Green industrial policy: Accelerating structural change towards wealthy green economies

The Chapter discusses the conceptual foundations of green industrial policy. Altenburg and Rodrik explain why looking through the lens of industrial policy provides important insights for a green transformation. They summarize lessons learned from decades of experimentation with, and research on, in...

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