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Market Size, Division of Labor, and Firm Productivity

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  • Chaney, Thomas
  • Ossa, Ralph

Abstract

We generalize Krugman's (1979) 'new trade' model by allowing for an explicit production chain in which a range of tasks is performed sequentially by a number of specialized teams. We demonstrate that an increase in market size induces a deeper division of labor among these teams which leads to an increase in firm productivity. The paper can be thought of as a formalization of Smith's (1776) famous theorem that the division of labor is limited by the extent of the market. It also sheds light on how market size differences can limit the scope for international technology transfers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9069.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9069

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Keywords: Division of labor; Firm productivity; Market size; Technology transfer;

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References

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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 12782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
  3. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  5. Wolfgang Keller, 2004. "International Technology Diffusion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 752-782, September.
  6. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
  7. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1998. "Appropriate Technology And Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1025-1054, November.
  9. Daniel Trefler, 2006. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 41, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  10. Eckel, Carsten & Neary, J. P., 2010. "Multi-product firms and flexible manufacturing in the global economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20525, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. George J. Stigler, 1951. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 185.
  13. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  14. Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Redding, Stephen & Burgess, Robin & Aghion, Philippe, 2005. "Entry Liberalization and Inequality in Industrial Performance," Scholarly Articles 4481508, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Dixit, Avinash K & Grossman, Gene M, 1982. "Trade and Protection with Multistage Production," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 583-94, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Kwok Tong Soo, 2013. "The gains from the division of labour and comparative advantage," Working Papers 33867696, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  2. Kamei, Keita, 2013. "Trade Liberalization, Division of Labor, and Firm Productivity," MPRA Paper 50301, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Soo, Kwok Tong, 2014. "Trade in intermediate goods and the division of labor," MPRA Paper 57065, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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