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Product Differentiation and the Location of International Production

  • Gianni De Fraja
  • George Norman

We analyze how product differentiation influences firms' choice between exporting and foreign direct investment. When product specifications are determined endogenously, we show that there is no symmetric solution to the product specification subgame. The cost disadvantage of an exporting firm translates into a disadvantage in product specification. Overseas production is favored if this allows the investing firm to adopt a more aggressive product specification. Our analysis suggests an ambiguous relationship among location, product differentiation, and cost and demand functions, confirmed by the existence of a parameter range for which there is no pure strategy equilibrium in location choice. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA, and 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK..

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

Volume (Year): 13 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 151-170

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:13:y:2004:i:1:p:151-170
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  1. Lambertini, Luca & Rossini, Gianpaolo, 1998. "Product homogeneity as a prisoner's dilemma in a duopoly with R&D," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 297-301, March.
  2. Motta, Massimo, 1992. "Multinational firms and the tariff-jumping argument : A game theoretic analysis with some unconventional conclusions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1557-1571, December.
  3. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  4. Hummels, David & Levinsohn, James A, 1993. "Product Differentiation as a," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 445-49, May.
  5. Norman, George, 1983. "Spatial Pricing with Differentiated Products," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 291-310, May.
  6. Massimo Motta & George Norman, 1993. "Does economic integration cause foreign direct investment?," Economics Working Papers 28, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Schmitt, Nicolas, 1995. "Product Imitation, Product Differentiation and International Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 583-608, August.
  8. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jeremy I. Bulow & John Geanakoplos & Paul D. Klemperer, 1983. "Multimarket Oligopoly," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 674, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Rowthorn, R E, 1992. "Intra-industry Trade and Investment under Oligopoly: The Role of Market Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 402-14, March.
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