Wen Chen, Bart Los, Marcel Timmer, 10 December 2018

Intangibles are on the rise, yet their measurement is elusive. This column argues that a global value chain perspective on factor incomes provides new insights. It documents a rapid increase in the share of ‘factorless’ income in global value chains in the 2000s and argues that this period should be seen as an exceptional period in the global economy during which multinational firms benefitted from reduced labour costs through offshoring, while capitalising on firm-specific intangibles at little marginal cost.

Kyoji Fukao, Tangjun Yuan, 08 June 2009

Though Japan has not suffered greatly from a housing collapse or toxic assets, its economy has been hit harder by the crisis than the US or EU. Japan’s contraction is almost entirely due to a steep fall in external demand. This column uses input-output analysis to show that the fall in US demand has had an amplified effect on Japan because it not only reduces Japanese net exports to the US but also net exports of intermediate goods to Asian countries, where they would have been assembled for final export to the US.

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