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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
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Studies 1 77(2010): pp. 188-217
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20525
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  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Allanson, Paul & Montagna, Catia, 2005. "Multiproduct firms and market structure: An explorative application to the product life cycle," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 587-597, September.
  4. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
  5. 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.
  6. Peter Neary, 2015. "International Trade in General Oligopolistic Equilibrium," Economics Series Working Papers 769, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 12782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Ottaviano, G.I.P. & Thisse, J.-F., 1999. "Monopolistic Competition, Multiproduct Firms and Optimum Product Diversity," Economics Working Papers eco99/31, European University Institute.
  10. Curtis Eaton, B. & Schmitt, N., 1991. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," Papers 1991-02, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
  11. Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2003. "Multiproduct Quality Competition: Fighting Brands and Product Line Pruning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 748-774, June.
  12. Volker Grossmann, 2003. "Firm Size and Diversification: Asymmetric Multiproduct Firms under Cournot Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1047, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. James Brander & Jonathan Eaton, 1982. "Product Line Rivalry," Working Papers 519, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. Jane Humphries, 2016. "Spinning the Industrial Revolution," Economics Series Working Papers 145, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. Jiandong Ju, 2003. "Oligopolistic Competition, Technology Innovation, and Multiproduct Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 346-359, 05.
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