Jobs in Global Value Chains

WTO Public Forum
9-10.30 am, Room D
Rue de Lausanne 154
Geneva, Switzerland

Panelists and Moderator

  • Lucian Cernat, Chief Economist – European Commission DG Trade
  • Marva Corley-Coulibaly, Senior Economist – International Labor Organization
  • Przemyslaw Kowalski, Senior Trade Economist – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Petter Stålenheim, Trade Policy Advisor – Swedish National Board of Trade
  • Johannes Schwarzer (Moderator), Fellow – Council on Economic Policies


Trade works out differently for different countries and industries. While this is a long standing finding of the trade literature, the recent move towards measuring trade in value-added terms provides for a fresh look on how trade exactly works, and why it works out differently between countries and sectors. Data on trade in value added terms often displays substantial differences with data on trade measured in gross value. The implications for our understanding of how trade and trade policy relate to greater economic development in general, and employment in particular, are not yet clear. This session will offer a closer look at the trade-employment nexus and seek answers to the question of what the implications of the emergence of global value chains are for domestic employment.

Guiding Questions

  • Which countries have been able to create most domestic jobs through trade and what were their strategies doing so?
  • What is the domestic job “content” of imports/exports?
  • What are the characteristics of jobs associated with GVC integration?
  • What is the contribution of services trade to job creation, directly and indirectly through their “embeddedness” in goods?
  • What are the structural differences in jobs associated with GVC integration for developed and developing countries?
  • What are the implications of trade policy changes and trade related industrial policy for domestic employment?