Globalization presents numerous challenges and opportunities. Firms and workers in widely separated locations affect one another more than they have in the past. Some of these effects are quite straightforward, such as when a firm from one country establishes a new factory or engineering center in another country. Others are more complex, such as when a firm in one country contracts with a firm in another country to coordinate production in plants owned by yet another firm in a third country, and so on.

In the midst of this environment, policymakers strive for inclusive development and improved competitiveness. To accomplish these goals, many seek new language and tools to understand globalization and economic development. These are among the reasons why 35 clients – international organizations, national governments and foundations – have contracted research resulting in over 100 reports. This research has provided practical, real-world advice that has informed decision-making on topics such as workforce development, the environment, food security, small- and medium-enterprises’ inclusion in the global economy, competitiveness, upgrading and public-private partnerships.


The Global Value Chain (GVC) framework and other analytical tools provide an industry-centric view of economic globalization that highlights linkages across countries and firms. It can be applied to any industry at multi-country, regional and subnational levels.

Research is customized for each client. Deliverables vary based on the client’s needs and may include reports, research and policy briefs, journal articles, presentations, databases, or websites.


“We found the GVC framework developed by Duke GVC Center to be a very valuable tool to analyze our industry position in different GVCs. It is a well structured and organized tool that shows both the qualitative and quantitative elements, and allows for identifying possible policy interventions.”
– Francisco Monge, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica

“We were were very pleased with the results of the study and the center’s quality work. It was very relevant to our efforts. There are lots of opportunities for new lines of investigation moving forward.”
– Gabriela Castro, formerly the Minister’s Chief of Staff and currently the Head of Investment of the Policy Division at COMEX (Ministerio de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica; Ministry of Foreign Trade in Costa Rica)

“The strength of the Center is the multi-country global experience. The Duke GVC Center is very effective at telling the story of what a value chain does in a sector and describing it thoroughly.”
– Carlo Pietrobelli, Lead Specialist in the Competitiveness and Innovation Division of the Inter-American Development Bank

“The Duke GVC Center is a team of smart researchers who know how to model supply chains really well. By tapping their contacts in select industries and conducting original, in-depth research interviews, they were able to provide us with us with keen insights that informed our program work and strategic planning.”
– Greg Andeck, former Manager, Environmental Defense Fund

“Being a research center linked with a university lends credibility to the Duke GVC Centerthat goes beyond what one would get from hiring a pure consulting firm. This definitely makes a difference to organizations such as the World Bank and governments.”
– Tom Farole, World Bank

“The GVC framework provides a good snapshot of the global value chain. It connects well both the domestic dimensions of GVC participation, but also helps you understand where the country is positioned in the broader value chain. It is implemented at a very detailed level, resulting in great recommendations. I think the framework can be applied to countries irrespective of their level of development. It helps countries understand where they sit on the value chain at the international level, and then to identify the restraints domestically and how to go about addressing these restraints.”
– Anabel Gonzalez, Senior Director of the Trade and Competitiveness practice at the World Bank and formerly Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Trade