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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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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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Xiaolan Fu, Owusu Essegbey and Godfred K. Frempong

Multinational enterprises are everywhere engaging in a myriad of economic activities. The perceptions of their impact on the nation’s economy range from negative at one extreme to positive at the other extreme. Granted that the truth is somewhere in between, the crucial issue is the impact of the MNEs on the nation’s economy and how national policies are shaped to enhance that impact. In this regard, there is the need for empirical research that unravels the contextual ramifications, which either constrain or facilitate positive impact on the national economy. This is particularly vital given that the role of MNEs in the economic activities and development of various countries is deepening with globalisation. Such a role can be expected to increase as globalisation continues to be fuelled by the advancement of technology, regionalisation and geopolitics, among others. Indeed, MNEs are increasingly able to pursue their economic interests across geographical and national boundaries. On the one hand, countries ought to welcome this development and eagerly promote the participation of MNEs in their national socio-economic activities, given the potential for impact on economic growth. On the other hand, countries need to ensure that MNEs’ engagement in the host countries remains positive and with the least negative outcomes on growth and development. There are several ways of doing this. For example, appropriate, homegrown policies and regulatory practices which are informed by knowledge of the nature and extent of MNEs’ activities in the host countries are important approaches to enhancing the positive impacts of MNEs. To a large extent, the effectiveness of engaging MNEs in socio- economic development depends on how countries are able to strategise to create the necessary conditions for their activities on the basis of researched evidence and proven knowledge of MNEs’ capacities and potential for impacts in the national contexts of their operations.

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Multinationals, Local Capacity Building and Development

The Role of Chinese and European MNEs

Xiaolan Fu, Owusu Essegbey and Godfred K. Frempong

Drawing on original research, Multinationals, Local Capacity Building and Development presents an extensive analysis of MNEs in Africa, taking Ghana as a case study, and broaching subject matter previously unaddressed in the field. Looking at MNEs impacts – both positive and negative – this book examines skill transfer from foreign management to local workers, the impact of MNEs on the improvement of local production capabilities, as well as their contributions to sustainable development goals.
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Creating Resilient Economies

Entrepreneurship, Growth and Development in Uncertain Times

Edited by Nick Williams and Tim Vorley

Providing a coherent and clear narrative, Creating Resilient Economies offers a theoretical analysis of resilience and provides guidance to policymakers with regards to fostering more resilient economies and people. It adeptly illustrates how resilience thinking can offer the opportunity to re-frame economic development policy and practice and provides a clear evidence base of the cultural, economic, political and social conditions that shape the adaptability, flexibility and responsiveness to crises in their many forms.
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Robert Huggins and Piers Thompson

There is a growing recognition that culture, both that specifically related to entrepreneurship and more generally that underpinning social and community activities, plays a role in facilitating economic development. Little attention, however, has been paid to the extent to which entrepreneurial activities are themselves resilient in the face of economic downturns: in particular, the extent to which entrepreneurial activities, attitudes and culture are supported by community culture at the local level. This study, therefore, seeks to address this issue. Data from localities in Great Britain are used to develop a number of indices based on those elements identified within the existing literature concerning community culture. Overall, it is found that entrepreneurship is only one element of the resources required to develop economic resilience, and may even lessen this resilience if ‘over-indulged’ in isolation. The findings further suggest that there is a link between some aspects of community culture and both economic and entrepreneurial resilience, in particular, a negative influence from social cohesion and adherence to social rules Positively for those localities with less market-driven individualistic perspectives, collective action supports entrepreneurial resilience, which means that such localities should not be handicapped in recovering from negative shocks.

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James Simmie

It is argued that urban economic resilience should be seen in terms of the capacity to maintain long-run economic growth pathways and the impacts of sudden and unforeseen shocks on those pathways. It is proposed that resilience is based on the long-run capacities of urban economies to re-invent themselves in the face of external shocks emanating from such phenomena as globalisation and technological change. This hypothesis is investigated by analysing employment change and the development of knowledge based private sector service industries and digital firms in English and Welsh cities from 1911. On the basis of this analysis, it is concluded that those cities with the highest levels of knowledge based employment in 1911 have emerged as the most resilient economies in terms of their long-term employment growth paths. Conversely, those urban economies with the highest levels of low knowledge intensity jobs in 1911 have tended to replicate those types of employment and consequently have suffered from low levels of resilience in the face of the local impacts of globalisation and technological shocks.

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Emil Evenhuis and Stuart Dawley

In this chapter we will discuss how the mechanisms and drivers of regional economic resilience can be theorised using evolutionary approaches in economic geography. We focus on evolutionary approaches that draw from three main theoretical frameworks: Generalised Darwinism, Complexity Theory, and Path Dependency. We will review each of the three frameworks with regard to their understanding of regional economic resilience, with particular attention to their treatment of the roles of agency, institutions and multi-scalar processes. We conclude that the Path Dependency approach – so far relatively neglected in debates on regional resilience – offers the greatest theoretical insight into these interrelated domains and provides the basis for a more comprehensive evolutionary resilience research agenda.