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International trade, flexible manufacturing, and outsourcing

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  • Eckel, Carsten

Abstract

This study analyzes the impact of opening up markets on the diffusion of flexible manufacturing in a general equilibrium framework. With flexible manufacturing, suppliers can service a range of downstream industries and do not have to be concerned about being held up. Instead, the vertical structure is determined by the trade-off between economies of scale in flexible manufacturing and product specificity of in-house production. The analysis derives a number of testable predictions with regard to firm size and productivity measures and shows that globalization can lead to a consolidation in upstream markets, lower real wages, and reduce welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckel, Carsten, 2009. "International trade, flexible manufacturing, and outsourcing," Munich Reprints in Economics 20531, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20531
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Outsourcing Versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 317-327, 04/05.
    2. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
    3. Carsten Eckel, 2009. "International trade, flexible manufacturing, and outsourcing," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(4), pages 1449-1472, November.
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    15. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "International trade in the presence of product differentiation, economies of scale and monopolistic competition : A Chamberlin-Heckscher-Ohlin approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-340, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Huanlang He & Zhihao Yu, 2015. "The evolving patterns of global production of multi‐product firms," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(3), pages 1175-1194, August.
    2. Oliver Lorz & Matthias Wrede, 2008. "Standardization of intermediate goods and international trade," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(2), pages 517-536, May.
    3. Carsten Eckel & J. Peter Neary, 2010. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 77(1), pages 188-217.
    4. Carsten Eckel, 2009. "International trade, flexible manufacturing, and outsourcing," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(4), pages 1449-1472, November.
    5. Inga Heiland, 2017. "Five Essays on International Trade, Factor Flows and the Gains from Globalization," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 74.
    6. Heiland, Inga & Kohler, Wilhelm, 2022. "Heterogeneous workers, trade, and migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    7. Luigi Pascali, 2009. "Contract Incompleteness, Globalization and Vertical Structure: an Empirical Analysis," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 727, Boston College Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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