Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 641-663.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1863-7

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Spatiotemporal evolution and driving factors of global production networks: An analysis based on the input-output technique

ZHENG Zhi1,2,3(), CHEN Wei1,2,*(), LIANG Yi4, ZHANG Yajing1,2,3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Center, Ministry of Natural Resources, Beijing 100035, China
  • Received:2020-10-28 Accepted:2021-03-18 Online:2021-05-25 Published:2021-07-25
  • Contact: CHEN Wei;
  • About author:Zheng Zhi (1993-), PhD Candidate, specialized in economic geography, regional development and global production networks. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20080000);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901154)


Global production networks have become the most important organizational platforms for coordinating international production activities, and their evolution patterns profoundly affect value distribution across the world. In this study, we shall firstly carry out an in-depth quantitative research to analyze the patterns and evolution of global production networks, using a long time-sequenced multi-region input-output table and the network analysis approach. Then based on the method of value-added decomposition, we will develop an index system to measure the degree of participation of regions in global production networks. Finally, we will try to identify the factors affecting the degree of participation of countries in global production networks by constructing a regression model. The results show that from 1995 to 2015, the evolution of global production networks measured by input-output linkages experienced four stages: expansion, contraction, re-expansion, and re-contraction. In addition, the core communities of global production networks evolved from two major production communities (Europe and the Americas) to three pillars (Europe, Americas, and Asia) while more segmented communities are mainly affected by geographical proximity. The latter consists of European, North American, South American, African and Asian communities. The evolution of the global production network pattern primarily manifests as a process of cooperation strengthening or weakening among communities, based on changes in the external environment and the need for individual development strategies. Meanwhile, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom have consistently ranked among the top entities in global production networks, whereas China, Russia, and Southeast Asia have the fastest rises in ranking. In addition, government efficiency, resources endowment, infrastructure conditions and technology levels play important roles in the participation in global production networks.

Key words: input-output table, network analysis, evolution pattern, value-added decomposition, participation degree, indicator system