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The spatial selection of heterogeneous firms

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  • Okubo, Toshihiro
  • Picard, Pierre M.
  • Thisse, Jacques-François

Abstract

We show that heterogeneous firms choose different locations in response to market integration. Specifically, decreasing trade costs lead to the gradual agglomeration of efficient firms in the larger country where they have access to a bigger pool of consumers. In contrast, high-cost firms seek protection against competition from efficient firms by locating in the smaller country. However, when the spatial separation of markets ceases to be a sufficient protection against foreign competition, high-cost firms choose to set up in the larger market. Hence, the relationship between economic integration and international productivity gap first increases and then decreases with market integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Okubo, Toshihiro & Picard, Pierre M. & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2010. "The spatial selection of heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 230-237, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:82:y:2010:i:2:p:230-237
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm heterogeneity Spatial selection Trade liberalization Economic geography;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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