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Multi-product firms and flexible manufacturing in the global economy

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  • Eckel, Carsten
  • Neary, J. P.

Abstract

We present a new model of multi-product firms (MPFs) and flexible manufacturing, and explore its implications in partial and general oligopolistic equilibrium. Globalization affects the scale and scope (or intensive margin and intra-firm extensive margin) of MPFs through a competition effect and a demand effect. The model highlights a new source of gains from trade: productivity increases as firms become \" leaner and meaner\" , concentrating on their core competence; but also a new source of losses from trade: product variety may fall. Our results also hold under free entry, which allows in addition for adjustment along the traditional inter-firm extensive margin.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20525.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Studies 1 77(2010): pp. 188-217
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20525

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References

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  1. James Brander & Jonathan Eaton, 1982. "Product Line Rivalry," Working Papers 519, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585, May.
  3. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1999. "Monopolistic Competition, Multiproduct Firms and Optimum Product Diversity," CEPR Discussion Papers 2151, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Norman, George & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1999. "Technology Choice and Market Structure: Strategic Aspects of Flexible Manufacturing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 345-72, September.
  5. Stephen J Redding & Peter K Schott & Andrew B Bernard, 2007. "Multi-product Firms and Trade Liberalization," 2007 Meeting Papers 44, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Eckel, Carsten, 2005. "International Trade, Flexible Manufacturing and Outsourcing," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 45, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  7. Eckel, Carsten, 2009. "International trade, flexible manufacturing, and outsourcing," Munich Reprints in Economics 20531, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Baldwin, Richard & Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo, 1998. "Multiproduct Multinationals and Reciprocal FDI Dumping," CEPR Discussion Papers 1851, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2009. "The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 557-592 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2002. "Multiproduct Quality Competition: Fighting Brands and Product Line Pruning," Economics Series Working Papers 105, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Eaton, B Curtis & Schmitt, Nicolas, 1994. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 875-88, September.
  12. Allanson, Paul & Montagna, Catia, 2005. "Multiproduct firms and market structure: An explorative application to the product life cycle," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 587-597, September.
  13. David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2005. "Multiproduct Cournot Oligopoly," Economics Series Working Papers 145, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  15. Jiandong Ju, 2003. "Oligopolistic Competition, Technology Innovation, and Multiproduct Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 346-359, 05.
  16. repec:fth:louvco:9919 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Volker Grossmann, 2003. "Firm Size and Diversification: Asymmetric Multiproduct Firms under Cournot Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1047, CESifo Group Munich.
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