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Essays on Empirical International Economics

Donofrio, Davide (2018) Essays on Empirical International Economics. Advisor: Rungi, Dott. Armando. pp. 177. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Over the last decades an increasing fragmentation of production processes, driven by reductions in trade barriers and adoption of new technologies, has led to the emergence of the so-called global value chains. The phenomenon has involved both manufacturing and services industries. However, the welfare gains from integration in an international value chain in terms of greater trade participation and upgrading in higher value-added activities may not be obvious and could differ among countries located at the core and at the edges of the global value chain. Traditional trade statistics have been revised in order to take account of value-added dispersion and to provide unambiguous assessments of the impact of trade on economic performance and job creation. In fact, official trade statistics measured in gross terms include multiple counted value-added of trade flows of intermediates which cross borders several times. This may provide a misleading perception of the impact of trade on GDP and employment (Koopman et al., 2010; 2014). New metrics of trade in value-added can provide clearer insights about both job creation and growth. Decompositions of gross trade flows in value-added by origin highlight the direct and indirect effect of specific tasks, labor skills and capital to economic performance, employment and the environment. Moreover, removing all the pure double counted components, a deeper analysis would identify not only the country and sector of origin but also where the value-added is absorbed (Wang et al., 2013). Despite the increased availability of data there is still little assessment of a dynamical map of global trade in value-added, sectoral interdependences and their impact on growth, employment and competitiveness (World Bank, 2017). The objective of this thesis is to explain with empirical evidence heterogeneity in value-added economic outcomes at different levels of analysis (global, regional and firm-level) and across different sectors (both manufacturing and services), in the light of the increasingly complex production processes, and to provide helpful insights for policy decisions about human capital and growth. After an introduction in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 reviews the main novel indicators of trade in global value chains and investigates the effect of Central Eastern European counties accession to the European Union on new global value chain metrics of participation and positioning of the transport equipment sector. We find that bilateral joint adhesion to the European Union has a phased-in effect on participation to global value chains of the exporting country but does not affect its positioning along the value chain in a statistically significant way. Chapter 3 assesses on a global scale the interaction between production choices, specialization trajectories and the quality of institution endowments, the latter being one of its long-term determinants. Our findings demonstrate that at a global scale there is some degree of substitutability between foreign and domestic intermediate input factors and between labor forces with high- and low-skills. Additionally, we find that the quality of financial and economic institutions positively affects value-added-based indicators of trade specialization, controlling for traditional Heckscher-Ohlin relative factor endowments. Chapter 4 studies the internal and the external determinants of hotel companies’ technical efficiency in the Italian administrative Region of Tuscany. The results emphasize the positive impact on technical efficiency scores of the relative share of intangible investments, the quality of human capital and location in well-renowned tourism destinations such as cities of art or seaside destinations. Finally, Chapter 5 concludes.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
PhD Course: Economics
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/247
NBN Number: urn:nbn:it:imtlucca-27274
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2018 09:53
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/247

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