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Edited by Stefano Ponte, Gary Gereffi and Gale Raj-Reichert

Global value chains (GVCs) are a key feature of the global economy in the 21st century. They show how international investment and trade create cross-border production networks that link countries, firms and workers around the globe. This Handbook describes how GVCs arise and vary across industries and countries, and how they have evolved over time in response to economic and political forces. With chapters written by leading interdisciplinary scholars, the Handbook unpacks the key concepts of GVC governance and upgrading, and explores policy implications for advanced and developing economies alike.
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Stefano Ponte, Gary Gereffi and Gale Raj-Reichert

This introductory chapter provides an overview of what global value chains (GVCs) are, and why they are important. It presents a genealogy of the emergence of GVCs as a concept and analytical framework, and some reflections on more recent developments in this field. Finally, it describes the chapter organization of this Handbook along its five cross-cutting themes: mapping, measuring and analysing GVCs; governance, power and inequality; the multiple dimensions of upgrading and downgrading; how innovation, strategy and learning can shape governance and upgrading; and GVCs, development and public policy.

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Xiaolan Fu, Owusu Essegbey and Godfred K. Frempong

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Edited by Marek Hudon, Marc Labie and Ariane Szafarz

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Isabelle Guérin, Solène Morvant-Roux and Jean-Michel Servet

Microfinance, both as a field of action and research, has been through major changes over the past decade. This field of action is now part of the broader financial inclusion agenda, and digital finance is taking on an increasingly important position. New technologies are continuing to expand the current and potential frontiers of ‘financial inclusion’. In terms of research, some innovative (though disputable) methods have emerged, with varying scopes and objectives. Both are quantitative: financial diaries and randomized control trials (RCTs). These methods have resulted in some progress (financial diaries in particular). But they tend to considerably narrow down the unit of analysis (especially RCTs, which are closely linked to behaviourism) while crowding out other methods and approaches (Bedecarrats et al. 2017). The main purpose of this chapter is to argue that to design suitable, fair financial services, we must take social interdependencies into account. By this, we mean that humans are first and foremost social beings constantly looking to forge relations with others. We also mean that social and economic changes are not the aggregate of individual actions but of multiple interactions and systemic effects.

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Jonathan Morduch and Timothy Ogden

The rhetoric of social investment is grand and clear, and the basic vision is simple: to support a new sort of capitalist endeavor driven by pursuit of social progress rather than just pursuit of profit. Yet the reality can be messy. How could it not be? Modern history has been shaped by the tensions between unbridled capitalism and struggles for social and economic justice. So it is not surprising that in the same 12 months that publishers release hope-filled books on social investment like A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment and Zero Net Carbon Emissions (Yunus 2017), other publishers release bubblebursting exposes like Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (Giridharadas 2018). Against the backdrop of these tensions, the world of social investment somehow embraces both market denialism and market fundamentalism. It depends on large subsidies while deploying anti-subsidy rhetoric. Definitions and practice have become so squishy that the coiner of one of the seminal terms of social investment, the “triple-bottom line”, recently suggested “recalling” the term because it is now essentially meaningless (Elkington 2018).

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Xiaolan Fu, Owusu Essegbey and Godfred K. Frempong

Managerial capability is a crucial pillar in enhancing innovation and facilitating industrial development. Ghana is not only a country that bears the distinctive features of the African context, but it also models the characteristics of an emerging economy where innovation is central for further progress. In that regard, the question of how knowledge and innovation can be further stimulated to enhance growth sustainably is of keen interest to stakeholders, policy makers, development actors, innovation scholars and others alike. Finding answers to this question has become quite urgent against the background of the imperatives of sustainable development. The focus on managerial knowledge transfer to build managerial capability is a major effort to understand and address some of the crucial challenges facing emerging economies with the appropriate answers. Sustainable development is a global agenda. Invariably, nations ought to strategise for the attainment of the SDGs within their socio-economic contexts and in line with their national aspirations. For a country such as Ghana, the SDGs of poverty elimination, food and nutrition security, good health and well-being are at the core of national efforts. Ghana’s poverty incidence of 24.2 per cent of the total population may be one of the examples of relatively low poverty incidence on the continent. However, it is still not acceptable that almost a quarter of the human population in a nation should be living in poverty, especially when the aim of SDG 1 is to ‘end poverty in all its forms everywhere’. The current industrialisation drive with the flagship programme of One District One Factory (1D1F) illustrates the efforts at creating conditions for economic advancement. In the process, MNEs have the potential of being major players.

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Valentina Hartarska and Denis Nadolnyak

This chapter’s objective is to introduce the reader to the main aspects of productivity and efficiency analysis of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and to identify the agenda for future research. We start with a few basic definitions. Productivity and efficiency analyses fall within the broader field of performance evaluation of MFIs. Productivity analysis and the related widely used productivity measures are concerned with the rate of output for a certain amount of input. More formal modeling of the production process in microfinance defines efficient production as the result of profit maximization or of the dual cost minimization subject to technological and resource constraints. Thus, such analysis aims to identify the maximum output(s) that can be produced from a given set of inputs or the minimum input mix used to produce a given level of output. Efficiency analysis extends productivity analysis by constructing an efficient production or cost frontier for a group of firms or an industry against which individual MFIs can be compared using either data envelopment (DEA) or stochastic frontier (SFA) analysis.1 We start by describing the two main approaches to productivity and efficiency analysis of MFIs, the non-structural and structural approaches.

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Baptiste Venet

In 2012, Demirguc-Kunt and Klapper posited that effective and inclusive financial systems are likely to benefit poor people and other disadvantaged groups because without inclusive financial systems, poor people must rely on their own limited savings to invest in their education or become entrepreneurs – and small enterprises must rely on their limited earnings to pursue promising growth opportunities. This can contribute to persistent income inequality and slower economic growth. (2012, p. 1) Twenty years earlier, McKinnon the “financial liberalization” school, claimed that the development of the financial system is at the heart of the economic development process.

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Roy Mersland, Stephen Zamore, Kwame Ohene Djan and Tigist Woldetsadik Sommeno

Over the past four decades, microfinance has grown from small local initiatives into a global phenomenon practiced in many markets, mostly in low-income economies but also in well-developed markets like the US and the EU. Interestingly, microfinance institutions (MFIs), that is, providers of financial services to end customers, often have several cross-border stakeholders, including shareholders, donors, lenders, and providers of technical assistance and advanced IT systems. Moreover, important “think tanks” like the CGAP provide the industry with global policy guidelines. Thus, microfinance is a very international industry and empirical evidence shows that international stakeholders as well as policymakers influence the performance of MFIs (Mersland et al., 2011; Mersland and Urgeghe, 2013). The purpose of this chapter is therefore to give an overview of the internationalization of the industry and to suggest relevant theories when studying cross-border microfinance partnerships. Moreover, we present initial statistical evidence of how internationalization can influence MFIs’ performance and the type of services they offer. Based on our initial results, we suggest a research agenda for future studies.