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Bart Los

University of Groningen

Bart Los is professor of technological progress and structural change at the Groningen Growth and Development Centre at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and is currently vice-president of the international input-output association. He has been joint leader of the World Input-Output Database project (www.wiod.org), and has recently investigated the distribution of factor incomes in GVCs, as well as the role of GVCs in transmitting trade shocks, such as Brexit. He holds a PhD from the University of Twente, the Netherlands.
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publication
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 tracks the value added in each stage of production in any country-industry. We define a new residual as the difference between the value of the final good and the payments to all tangibles (capital and labour) in any stage. We focus on GVCs of manufactured goods and find the residual to be large. We interpret it as income for intangibles that are (mostly) not covered in current national accounts statistics. We document decreasing labour and increasing capital income shares over the period 2000-14. This is mainly due to increasing income for intangible assets, in particular in GVCs of durable goods. We provide evidence that suggests that the 2000s should be seen as an exceptional period in the global economy during which multinational firms benefitted from reduced labour costs through offshoring, while capitalising on existing firm-specific intangibles, such as brand names, at little marginal cost.

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publication
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, respectively. In addition we suggest a novel third measure, VAX-P, which indicates the value added used abroad in the final stage of production. We show that they can all be derived with the method of hypothetical extraction in a general input-output model. This is helpful in comparing and contrasting their characteristics. As a corollary, we show that for VAX-C and VAX-P the sum of bilateral measures is equal to the corresponding aggregate measure, but that this is generally not true for VAX-D. We illustrate all measures with empirical examples computed on the basis of the World Input-Output Database. These indicators can found at www.wiod.org.

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publication
The continental divide? Economic exposure to Brexit in regions and countries on both sides of The Channel

In this paper we employ an extension of the World Input‐Output Database (WIOD) with regional detail for EU countries to study the degree to which EU regions and countries are exposed to negative trade‐related consequences of Brexit. We develop an index of this exposure, which incorporates all effects due to geographically fragmented production processes within the UK, the EU and beyond. Our findings demonstrate that UK regions are far more exposed than regions in other countries. Only regions in the Republic of Ireland face exposure levels similar to some UK regions, while the next most affected regions are in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and France. This imbalance may influence the outcomes of the negotiations between the UK and the EU.

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