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© Davin Chor

Davin Chor

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

Davin Chor is an Associate Professor and Globalization Chair at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He received his AB, AM, and PhD from Harvard University, and was previously Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore and Visiting Assistant Professor at Princeton University. His research interests are in international trade, political economy, and economic history. His research has been published in leading academic journals.
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publication
Growing like China: Firm performance and global production line position

Global value chains have fundamentally transformed international trade and development in recent decades. We use matched firm-level customs and manufacturing survey data, together with Input-Output tables for China, to examine how Chinese firms position themselves in global production lines and how this evolves with productivity and performance over the firm lifecycle. We document a sharp rise in the upstreamness of imports, stable positioning of exports, and rapid expansion in production stages conducted in China over the 1992–2014 period, both in the aggregate and within firms over time. Firms span more stages as they grow more productive, bigger and more experienced. This is accompanied by a rise in input purchases, value added in production, fixed costs incurred, and profits. We rationalize these patterns with a stylized model of the firm lifecycle with complementarity between the scale of production and the scope of stages performed.

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publication
Internalizing Global Value Chains: A Firm-Level Analysis

A key decision facing firms is the extent of control to exert over the different stages in their production processes. We develop and test a property rights model of firm boundary choices along the value chain. We construct firm-level measures of the upstreamness of integrated and nonintegrated inputs by combining information on firms’ production activities in more than 100 countries with input-output tables. Whether a firm integrates upstream or downstream suppliers depends crucially on the elasticity of demand it faces. Moreover, integration is shaped by the relative contractibility of stages along the value chain, as well as by the firm’s productivity.

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publication
Modeling global value chains: approaches and insights from economics

In recent years, the emergence of global value chains in how firms organize their production strategies has drawn the attention of economists, particularly those in the field of international trade. This has spawned a growing body of applied theoretical work to capture the fragmentation of production and sourcing decisions across country borders. This chapter overviews this literature on economic models that speak to the broad phenomenon of global production. It elucidates the core modeling approaches that have been developed to understand the drivers behind these decisions, as well as their consequences for trade flows, labor markets, and aggregate welfare. The chapter also highlights how this modeling work complements key themes that have been developed in the broader social science literature on global value chains.

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publication
On the measurement of upstreamness and downstreamness in global value chains

This paper offers four contributions to the empirical literature on global value chains (GVCs). First, we provide a succinct overview of several measures developed to capture the upstreamness or downstreamness of industries and countries in GVCs. Second, we employ data from the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) to document the empirical evolution of these measures over the period 1995-2011; in doing so, we highlight salient patterns related to countries’ GVC positioning – as well as some puzzling correlations – that emerge from the data. Third, we develop a theoretical framework – which builds on Caliendo and Parro’s (2015) variant of the Eaton and Kortum (2002) model – that provides a structural interpretation of all the entries of the WIOD in a given year. Fourth, we resort to a calibrated version of the model to perform counterfactual exercises that: (i) sharpen our understanding of the independent effect of several factors in explaining the observed empirical patterns in the period 1995-2011; and (ii) provide guidance for how future changes in the world economy are likely to shape the positioning of countries in GVCs.

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