Discussion Paper Series 2018 #06: Modes of Insertion into Global Value Chains as a Source of Firms’s Heterogeneity?


While the slowdown of accumulation has been at the center of the financialization literature since the 2000s, not much has been written on the investment behavior of firms beyond the US and Europe neither in the case of non-leading firms. This article addresses this gap by testing if the “low growth, low investment” track of the Korean economy since the Asian crisis can be explained by the modalities of firms’ insertion into global value chains (GVCs), defined according to the activity of firms, the governance of the chain they are part of, and their possibility of upgrading. Empirical evidence derived from a cluster analysis using micro and sectoral data of manufacturing firms, confirm that modalities of insertion into GVCs are a source of heterogeneity of firms’ investment behavior. The original methodology developed in this paper enriches the understanding of the complexity and heterogeneity of governance intra-value chains and intra-firms.


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