Knowledge, Oligopoly and Labour in Global Value Chains

  • Dev Nathan Society for Labour and Development


The article explores knowledge in global value chains (GVCs) and its correspondence with the nature of employment in different GVC segments. It starts with the role of knowledge that is protected through intellectual property rights in creating oligopolies in product markets, which are then re-created as oligopolies in the input markets. Knowledge requirements, transmitted through governance relations and the distribution of power within GVCs, lead to the inter-firm distribution of profits within GVCs, and result in differing qualities of employment corresponding to the level of knowledge required in different production segments.