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Globalization and specialization

  • Eckel, Carsten

The popular Dixit-Stiglitz-Ethier framework proposes that globalization increases the menu of intermediate goods available to downstream firms and that gains from specialization raise welfare unambiguously. This study shows that both results depend critically on the assumption that demand elasticities are invariable. The more general framework presented here provides two main insights: First, whether specialization rises or falls depends ultimately on the shape of the cost function, and second, globalization can actually reduce welfare in the case when specialization falls.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 75 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 219-228

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:219-228
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  1. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
  2. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy without Government Commitment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 322-38, October.
  3. Joseph F. Francois, 1992. "Optimal Commercial Policy with International Returns to Scale," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 184-95, February.
  4. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-21, January.
  5. Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J., 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," Working Paper Series 430, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Lovely, Mary E., 1996. "Technological linkages, market structure, and production policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 73-86, July.
  7. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
  8. 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.
  9. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
  10. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "The division of labor and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 3-32, April.
  11. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  12. Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
  13. James R. Markusen, 1990. "Micro-foundations of External Economies," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 495-508, August.
  14. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-93, June.
  15. Yang, Xiaokai & Heijdra, Ben J, 1993. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 295-301, March.
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