This paper uses new trade/new growth theories to better contextualise Global Value Chain (GVC) analysis of ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ agricultural trade. Research suggests that GVC governance structures may limit or enhance the applicability of new trade/new growth theories in terms of ‘learning by doing’; and therefore the ability to value chain upgrade.
This paper tries to bridge the current divergence between input:output and value distribution approaches to GVC analysis. The case is made that both aspects are central to understanding upgrading processes within agricultural GVCs and
growth through trade.
If we consider GVCs to be the mechanisms through which developing countries engage in trade with developed then we can better understand the mechanisms through which value addition occurs both at and across nodes of production. Comparative analysis of ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ agricultural exports highlights important considerations, structural changes and trends in the way agricultural trade takes place. However, current approaches to GVC analysis aren’t necessarily giving us the full picture.
This paper suggests a ‘new’ approach to GVC analysis of agricultural exports. Firstly through a discussion of comparable studies of traditional and non-traditional agricultural GVCs and their methodological shortcomings; secondly by introducing a series of new trade/new growth models and links these to GVC analysis; and lastly through a discussion of upgrading typologies and trade in agricultural goods within a new trade/new growth context.
In sum, this paper suggests ways in which a more coherent story and lucid analytical framework may help to bridge the current divergence between ‘input:output’ and ‘value distribution’ approaches to GVC analysis. However, this paper also serves to draw attention to how much further GVC research needs to go in order to better understand growth through trade and GVC participation and suggests avenues for further research.
Source: Overseas Development Institute
Author: Jodie Keane