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Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy

  • Carsten Eckel
  • J. Peter Neary

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. Copyright , Wiley-Blackwell.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 77 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 188-217

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:1:p:188-217
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Baldwin, Richard E. & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P., 2001. "Multiproduct multinationals and reciprocal FDI dumping," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 429-448, August.
  4. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1999. "Monopolistic Competition, Multiproduct Firms and Optimum Product Diversity," CEPR Discussion Papers 2151, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. NORMAN, George & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1996. "Technology choice and market structure : strategic aspects of flexible manufacturing," CORE Discussion Papers 1996059, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Multiproduct Firms and Trade Liberalization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1271-1318.
  8. Eaton, B Curtis & Schmitt, Nicolas, 1994. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 875-88, September.
  9. James Brander & Jonathan Eaton, 1982. "Product Line Rivalry," Working Papers 519, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2006. "Multiproduct Cournot oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 583-601, 09.
  12. Paul Allanson & Catia Montagna, 1999. "Multiproduct Firms and Market Structure: An Explorative Application to the Product Life Cycle," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 101, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  13. Volker Grossmann, 2003. "Firm Size and Diversification: Asymmetric Multiproduct Firms under Cournot Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1047, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Jiandong Ju, 2003. "Oligopolistic Competition, Technology Innovation, and Multiproduct Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 346-359, 05.
  15. repec:oup:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:2:p:541-585 is not listed on IDEAS
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