Rethinking Global Supply Chains: Measurement, Impact and Policy (RETHINK-GSC)

The RETHINK-GSC project, funded by the EU's Horizon Europe program, is a research project that uses innovative methods to analyze the effects of global supply chains (GSCs) and develops new methodologies to quantify the role of knowledge flows and service inputs. The aim of the RETHINK-GSC is to capture the increasing importance of intangibles in global production and to provide new insights into ongoing and expected changes in global production processes.

Start of Project 10/2023
End of Project 09/2025

The changing nature of global supply chains requires rethinking them in order to design appropriate policy responses and investigate their employment and social impacts. RETHINK-GSC will enhance our understanding of the implications of GSCs using new measures that can quantify the role knowledge flows, and more generally services inputs, and thus acknowledge the increasing importance of intangibles in GSCs. The project provides new and innovative methodologies for assessing the development of global supply chains, which generates new knowledge on ongoing and expected changes in GSCs due to shocks. The research, both theoretical and empirical, will be conducted mainly at the level of the firm – the unit that ultimately decides on the organization of international production.

Using the RETHINK-GSC innovative measures allows the projects’ researchers and future scholars to

  • investigate the interaction between tangible and intangible GSCs to evaluate the changing nature of global supply chains,
  • provide novel ways of analyzing the impact of GSCs on social, economic and environmental outcomes in European countries and
  • evaluate the resilience of GSCs to exogenous shocks.

Furthermore, the project elaborates policy scenarios for expected future GSC developments. This new evidence contributes to enhancing policy developments related to ensuring level playing fields in trade relations and ensuring security of strategic supplies.

Horizon Europe is the European Unions’ key funding program for research and innovation. Its primary objectives are to strengthen research in the areas of climate change, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and to boost the EU’s competitiveness and growth. In the program period from 2021 - 2027, Horizon Europe has a budget of around 95.5 billion euros. RETHINK-GSC will be funded with almost three million euros for three years.

With Holger Görg as project head, the Kiel Institute is the consortium leader. The other participating institutes are University College Dublin, the Centre for Economics and Regional Studies in Budapest, the Università del Salento, the Université Paris Dauphine, Aarhus University, Gdańsk University of Technology, the University of Oslo, the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel, the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) and the Centre d'Information et de Recherche sur l'Économie Mondiale (CIREM) in Paris.

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