Global Value Chains and the Political Economy of Development in a Post-Washington Consensus World
Director, Balsillie School of International Affairs; Professor, Political Science
Global Value Chains (GVCs) have figured prominently in recent reports from multilateral economic institutions—including the OECD’s 2013 report, Interconnected Economies: Benefiting from Global Value Chains and UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2013. These reports recognize how the economic sectors and activities encompassed by global supply chains grew have grown exponentially in the last two decades. Moreover, they note how the increasing importance of GVCs in the current era challenges the traditional way of measuring countries’ export performance and international competitiveness. The reports emphasize the potential benefits that can accrue to developing economies from participation in GVCs. Often, however, they pay insufficient attention to the challenges that countries face in industrial upgrading—in particular, the need to create effective institutions to overcome collective action problems and to escape the “middle income trap”. And in some work, we see a return to a simplistic “get the state out of the market” policy prescription for countries wishing to increase their participation in GVCs. I will consider the opportunities that the expansion of GVCs have brought and the challenges that developing economies face in attempting to upgrade their positions in GVCs.
Welcome reception for John Ravenhill to follow talk.
Hagey Hall, Room 341
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1