The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 
The Conference Board’s Trade and Global Value Chains Initiative

The Conference Board’s new research initiative explores the foundations of structural changes occurring in global trade and value chains and the implications for businesses. Much of this research will be informed by new data on global supply chains, such as the World Input-Output Database, which helps to paint a more accurate picture of the nuances underpinning complex international trade and production relationships.

Connect With Leaders At The Following Centers:

Global Economy

Bart van Ark

CED | Public Policy

Steve Odland



New trade measurement initiatives, such as the World Input-Output Database, and the research based on these novel data sources are needed to help develop a more accurate understanding of complex international trade relationships created by global value chains. This innovative measurement work is in its infancy, but promises to yield important insights for business leaders and policy makers.

Below are some new areas of research on the impact of global value chains. The World Input-Output Database datasets will facilitate Conference Board research into some of these questions. Other questions may be addressed through more qualitative research until more data or surveys are developed to reveal insights.

  1. What do these trends in global value chains mean for global labor markets? 
  2. To what extent do global labor markets impact how global value chains are shaped?
  3. Is skilled labor a critical factor in organizing value chains and international production?
  4. How do GVCs affect wage volatility? How can global businesses prepare for changes in labor markets and labor cost as a result of the reorganization of GVCs?
  5. How are businesses responding to changes in global labor markets resulting from new GVCs?
  6. What will businesses do over the coming years regarding GVC management?
  7. Will new technologies such as additive manufacturing or new methodologies based on ICT impact the way businesses organize and manage their global value chains? If so, how?
  8. If global businesses reshore parts of their GVCs, what might the result look like? Would the new organization of production resemble former models or would they be more technologically advanced?
  9. What new trade and industrial or investment policies are to be expected given the newly developing trends in GVCs?

Forthcoming in 2018, follow-up reports from The Conference Board will include (a) an exploration of reshoring trends and their impact on labor markets in mature economies, and (b) an interview-driven overview of the implications of trade and GVC trends on multinational corporations.

Not sure if your organization is a member?
Recent Op-Eds and Essays

Steve Odland: Rebound in Confidence: Can it Continue? Conference Board CEO Says it's Short-term
July 31 | CNBC: Watch



Erik Lundh: Retailers Safe, for Now, in Trump's Tariff Fight With China
June 15 | The Street: Read



Erik Lundh and David Hoffman: A Pyrrhic Victory for Trade Hawks
May 31 | Bloomberg: Read



Ataman Ozyildirim and Ilaria Maselli: Tariffs or No Tariffs, the Pickup in Global Trade Won’t Last
April 9 | EURACTIV: Read



Steve Odland: When the US Engages in Free Trade, ‘We All Win’
March 22 | CNBC: Read



David Hoffman and Erik Lundh: "Huge" Trade Deficits Are Smaller Than You Think
March 18 | Bloomberg: Read



Abdul Erumban and Erik Lundh: Is the Trade Resurgence Sustainable?
March 12 | Knowledge@Wharton: Read



Joseph Minarik: Setting the Record Straight on Tariffs
March 19 | The Hill: Read



Ethan Cramer-Flood and Steve Odland: Preventing a Trade War with China
November 7 | CNBC: Read