EMNES Working Paper No 43

The Economic Complexity (EC) approach (Hidalgo and Hausmann 2009) offers a path-breaking perspective into the study of economic development, by introducing new tools for economic analysis, such as the product space and sophistication indexes. A different strand of international economics literature has studied Global Value Chains (GVCs), highlighting their impact on countries the economic performance of countries. This paper jointly considers these two strands of literature by: i) providing a descriptive analysis on a set of selected chains through updated measures of the product space and of derived indexes; ii) proposing a new EC coherent GVC participation index; iii) applying the former contributions to the analysis of North African countries’ GVC performance. From the latter analysis, strong differences between Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco emerge, as far as both current participation and future perspectives are concerned. Overall, the paper, by merging the two strands of literature, for the first time to our knowledge, highlights interesting opportunities for further developments in this direction.

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