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Groningen Growth and Development Centre

Faculty of Economics and Business
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The importance of Spain and Italy for the Dutch economy

Date:10 August 2020

Bart Los and Xianjia Ye published an article in ESB, the major Dutch magazine on economic policy. They provide indicators for the economic importance of Italy and Spain for the Dutch and German economies. Using methods for bilateral dependencies in networks of global value chains developed by Bart Los and Marcel Timmer in an NBER Working Paper, Los and Ye find that about 4.4% of Dutch value added is dependent on demand for downstream production activities or consumption in Italy and Spain. As such, these two economies are about as important as the UK economy. Quantifications like these are important in discussions about the extent to which Northern EU members should support Italy and Spain after these already less competitive EU members were hit disproportionally by the Covid-19 pandemic.