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Multi-product firms and flexible manufacturing in the global economy

  • Eckel, Carsten
  • Neary, J. P.

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.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20525.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Studies 1 77(2010): pp. 188-217
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20525
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Web page: http://www.vwl.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. Brander, James A & Eaton, Jonathan, 1984. "Product Line Rivalry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 323-34, June.
  2. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
  3. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2006. "The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2006038e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-product firms and trade liberalization," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3684, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. 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.
  6. Eaton, B Curtis & Schmitt, Nicolas, 1994. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 875-88, September.
  7. Jiandong Ju, 2003. "Oligopolistic Competition, Technology Innovation, and Multiproduct Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 346-359, 05.
  8. Norman, George & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1999. "Technology Choice and Market Structure: Strategic Aspects of Flexible Manufacturing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 345-72, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Baldwin, Richard & Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 1998. "Multiproduct Multinationals and Reciprocal FDI Dumping," CEPR Discussion Papers 1851, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Carsten Eckel, 2009. "International trade, flexible manufacturing, and outsourcing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1449-1472, November.
  12. repec:got:cegedp:45 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Monopolistic competition, multiproduct firms and optimum product diversity," CORE Discussion Papers 1999019, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Volker Grossmann, 2003. "Firm Size and Diversification: Asymmetric Multiproduct Firms under Cournot Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1047, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2005. "Multiproduct Cournot Oligopoly," Economics Series Working Papers 145, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
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