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Globalization and specialization

  • Eckel, Carsten

The popular Dixit-Stiglitz-Ethier framework proposes that globalization increases the menu of intermediate goods available to downstream firms and that gains from specialization raise welfare unambiguously. This study shows that both results depend critically on the assumption that demand elasticities are invariable. The more general framework presented here provides two main insights: First, whether specialization rises or falls depends ultimately on the shape of the cost function, and second, globalization can actually reduce welfare in the case when specialization falls.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20533.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of International Economics 1 75(2008): pp. 219-228
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20533
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  1. Yang, Xiaokai & Heijdra, Ben J, 1993. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 295-301, March.
  2. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-21, January.
  3. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  4. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "The division of labor and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 3-32, April.
  5. Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J, 1994. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 1015, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-93, June.
  7. Joseph F. Francois, 1992. "Optimal Commercial Policy with International Returns to Scale," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 184-95, February.
  8. Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
  9. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
  10. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  11. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy without Government Commitment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 322-38, October.
  12. James R. Markusen, 1990. "Micro-foundations of External Economies," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 495-508, August.
  13. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Lovely, Mary E., 1996. "Technological linkages, market structure, and production policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 73-86, July.
  14. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
  15. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
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