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A Multi-Country Approach to Factor Proporations Trade and Trade Costs

  • Jim Markusen
  • Anthony Venables

Classic trade questions are reconsidered by generalizing a factor-proportions model to multiple countries, multi-stage production, and country-specific trade costs. We derive patterns of production specialization and trade for a matrix of countries that differ in relative endowments (columns) and trade costs (rows). We demonstrate how the ability to fragment production and/or a proportional change in all countries’ trade costs alters these patterns. Production specialization and the volume of trade are higher with fragmentation for most countries but interestingly, for a large block of countries, these variables fall following fragmentation. Countries with moderate trade costs engage in market-oriented assembly, while those with lower trade costs engage in export-platform production. These two cases correspond to the concepts of horizontal and vertical affiliate production in the literature on multinational enterprises. Increases in specialization and the volume of trade accelerate as trade costs go to zero with and without fragmentation. Classification-

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Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp051.

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Date of creation: 20 Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp051
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  1. Deardorff, A.V., 1998. "Fragmentation Across Cones," Papers 98-14, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  2. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 6849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrew Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2005. "Factor Price Equality and the Economies of the United States," Working Papers 05-21, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. H. Hanson, Gordon, 2005. "Market potential, increasing returns and geographic concentration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, September.
  5. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
  6. Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Fragmentation and multinational production," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 935-945, April.
  7. Norman, Victor D & Venables, Anthony J, 1995. "International Trade, Factor Mobility and Trade Costs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1488-1504, November.
  8. Arndt, Sven W. & Kierzkowski, Henryk (ed.), 2001. "Fragmentation: New Production Patterns in the World Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199243310, March.
  9. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  11. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Market Access, Economic Geography, and Comparative Advantage: An Empirical Assessment," NBER Working Papers 6787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ronald W. Jones, 2000. "Globalization and the Theory of Input Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026210086x, June.
  13. J. P. Neary (ed.), 1995. "International Trade," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 575, December.
  14. David Hummels & Dana Rapoport & Kei-Mu Yi, 1998. "Vertical specialization and the changing nature of world trade," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 79-99.
  15. Markusen, James R., 1984. "Multinationals, multi-plant economies, and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  16. Markusen, James R., 1983. "Factor movements and commodity trade as complements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 341-356, May.
  17. Ng, Francis & Yeats, Alexander, 1999. "Production sharing in East Asia : who does what for whom, and why?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2197, The World Bank.
  18. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Expansion Strategies of U.S. Multinational Firms," BEA Papers 0012, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
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