Timothy J. Sturgeon

Senior Research Affiliate at the Industrial Performance Center

Timothy J. Sturgeon came to MIT from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a Research Specialist at the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy for five years while earning his PhD in Economic Geography. He is co-organizer of the Global Value Chains Initiative and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Technology, Enterprise, and Competitiveness at the Doshisha Management School in Kyoto, Japan. Dr. Sturgeon has also been a Research Associate at MIT, and has served as Executive Director of the IPC's Globalization Study and the Globalization Research Director for the International Motor Vehicle Program at the Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development.


Dr. Sturgeon's research focuses on the process of global integration, with an emphasis on offshoring and outsourcing practices in the electronics and automotive industries. He is interested in both the distinctive and common aspects of industries and places, and the implications of these for economic performance, employment, technological learning, and industrial upgrading. He has made significant contributions to Global Value Chain (GVC) theory, and is working to improve the metrics and methods available for globalization research.


  • "Trade in value added indicators: what they are, what they aren’t, and where they’re headed," Centre for Economic Policy Research policy portal, VOX, May, 2015.
  • "Compressed Development" Studies in Comparative International Development. Co-author with D. Hugh Whittaker, Tianbiao Zhu, Mon Han Tsai, and Toshie Okita. (2010)
  • "Value Chains, Networks, and Clusters: Reframing the Global Automotive Industry." Journal of Economic Geography, 8: 297-321. Appears in a special> issue on Global Production Networks, edited by Neil Coe, Peter Dicken and Martin Hess. (2008)
  • "How Globalization Drives Institutional Diversity: The Japanese Electronics Industry's Response to Value Chain Modularity." Journal of East Asian Studies 7:1, Jan-April, 2007, pp. 1-34.
  • "Modular Production's Impact on Japan's Electronics Industry", in Recovering from Success: Innovation and Technology Management in Japan (Hugh Whittaker and Robert Cole (eds), Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
  • "How Silicon Valley Came to Be", in Understanding Silicon Valley: Anatomy of an Entrepreneurial Region (Martin Kenney, ed.) (2003).
  • "Globalization and Jobs in the Automotive Industry" (with Richard Florida)
  • "Modular Production Networks. A New American Model of Industrial Organization.", Industrial and Corporate Change 11, 3: 451-496 (2002).
  • "Industry Co-Evolution and the Rise of a Shared Supply-Base for Electronics Manufacturing" (with Ji-Ren Lee), Industrial Performance Center Working Paper, 2001.
  • "The New Global Supply Base: New Challenges for Local Suppliers in East Asia" (with Richard Lester), in S.Yusuf et al (eds.), Global Production Networking and Technological Change in East Asia, Oxford University Press, New York, 2003.