Globalization, Increasing Returns in Component Production, and the Pattern of Trade
This paper proposes that globalization, through the enlargement of the market, can influence both specialization and the equilibrium firm size. By re-introducing two factors of production into the muchutilized Dixit-Stiglitz-Ethier framework, I show that gains from specialization depend only on capital, while gains from increasing firm size face a trade-off between labor and capital as the size of the market expands. If the markup that the firms charge is instead endogenously determined, I demonstrate how firms can gain from both internal and external economies as globalization occurs if the number of firms stays under a specified threshold. The paper also shows that opening up to free trade in intermediate inputs and a final consumption good will have relative endowments determining the direction of trade across the stages of production. The model predicts that a relatively capital-abundant country will be the importer of the final good and the net exporter of intermediate components. Compared to autarky, trade will enhance specialization and firm size in the capital-abundant country and diminish both in the laborabundant country. Welfare can either increase or decrease as a result of trade.
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