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Automotive international trade networks: A comparative analysis over the last two decades

  • SARA GORGONI (a1), ALESSIA AMIGHINI (a2) and MATTHEW SMITH (a3)

Abstract

This paper explores the structural changes in the international organization of automotive production since the early 1990s. We apply descriptive network measures to international trade data for the period 1993–2013 for three automotive component groups with different technological intensity, with the aim of understanding (1) how the automotive international trade network has changed since the beginning of the 1990s; (2) whether regionalization has increased over time; (3) how the role that rising powers play within and between regions interacts with regionalization patterns. Our findings suggest that the structure of trade has changed significantly over the last two decades in all components. The network for electric and electrical parts and engines has evolved to become more hierarchical, with a cohesive core tied to hangers-on in the periphery, while the opposite has happened for rubber and metal. Regionalization patterns also show important differences across components. Finally, we have found an apparent association between the strengthening of regionalization patterns and the role played by traditional players and rising powers.

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