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Increasing Returns and the Theory of International Trade

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  • Paul R. Krugman

Abstract

Increasing returns are as fundamental a cause of international trade as comparative advantage, but their role has until recently been neglected because of the problem of modelling market structure. Recently substantial theoretical progress has been made using three different approaches. These are the Marshallian approach, where economies of scale are assumed external to firms; the Chamberlinian approach, where imperfect competition takes the relatively tractable form of monopolistic competition; and the Cournot approach of noncooperative quantity-setting firms. This paper surveys the basic concepts and results of each approach. It shows that some basic insights are not too sensitive to the particular model of market structure. Although much remains to be done, we have made more progress toward a general analysis of increasing returns and trade than anyone would have thought possible even a few years ago.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1752.

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Date of creation: Oct 1985
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Publication status: Published as "Urban Concentration: The Role of Increasing Returns and Transport Goods", International Regional Science Review, Vol. 19, no. 1/2 (1996): 5-30.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1752

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  1. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
  3. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and factor movements : A welfare analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 263-276, May.
  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. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "Decreasing Costs in International Trade and Frank Graham's Argument for Protection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1243-68, September.
  6. James R. Melvin, 1969. "Increasing Returns to Scale as a Determinant of Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 2(3), pages 389-402, August.
  7. Feenstra, Robert C & Judd, Kenneth L, 1982. "Tariffs, Technology Transfer, and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1142-65, December.
  8. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  9. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Klundert, T.C.M.J. van de, 1988. "A macroeconomic two-country model with price-discriminating monopolists," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4875523, Tilburg University.
  2. J. David Richardson, 1990. "Empirical Research on Trade Liberalization With Imperfect Competition: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 2883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Konchyn, Vadym, 2006. "The Evolution of Ukrainian Economy: New Trade Theory Evidence," MPRA Paper 588, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 07 Sep 2006.
  4. J. Mohan Rao, 1998. "Development in the Time of Globalization," Working Papers wp1, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  5. G. Ietto-Gillies, 1998. "Earnings From Foreign Direct Investment: Possible Effects on Domestic Economies and Patterns in EU Countries," CIBS Research Papers in International Business 9-98, London South Bank University CIBS.
  6. Bitzenis, Aristidis & Tsitouras, Antonis & Vlachos, Vasileios A., 2009. "Decisive FDI obstacles as an explanatory reason for limited FDI inflows in an EMU member state: The case of Greece," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 691-704, August.
  7. Louis Makowski & Joseph M. Ostroy, 1991. "The Margin of Appropriation and an Extension of the First Theorem of Welfare Economists," UCLA Economics Working Papers 629, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Carlos Pombo, 2001. "Intra-industry Trade and Innovation: An empirical study of the Colombian manufacturing industry," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 77-106.
  9. G. Ietto-Gillies, 1998. "Location of Affiliates and Degree of Internationalisation: An Analysis of the World's Largest 664 TNCs," CIBS Research Papers in International Business 14-98, London South Bank University CIBS.
  10. Singh, Anshul, 2013. "Do the FDI, Economic growth and Trade affect each other for India: An ARDL Approach," MPRA Paper 51447, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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