International Fragmentation of Production, Trade and Growth: Impacts and Prospects for EU Member States


Neil Foster-McGregor, Robert Stehrer and Marcel Timmer

wiiw Research Report No. 387, May 2013
50 pages including 27 Tables and 14 Figures

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There has been an ongoing trend towards increasing internationalisation of production over the past two decades or so. This implies that countries become more dependent on demand from foreign countries but also that countries and industries are able to source intermediates from different countries, an activity referred to as ‘offshoring’. Whereas the former aspect means an increasing dependency on foreign markets, the second aspect implies that countries and industries source at lower costs making them more productive and competitive. Using the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) we first provide an overview of these trends over the period 1995-2011 for 40 advanced and emerging countries with a specific focus on the EU as a whole and the individual EU member states. In the second part of the paper we show results from an econometric analysis to explain growth performance, focusing on the impacts of the increasing internationalisation of production.


Keywords: international fragmentation of production, growth, employment, trade

JEL classification: E20, F15, F43, F62

Countries covered: European Union

Research Areas: Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy, International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI