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Innovation and Production in the Global Economy

  • Costas Arkolakis
  • Natalia Ramondo
  • Andrés Rodríguez-Clare
  • Stephen Yeaple

One feature of globalization is that countries are increasingly specialized in either innovation or in production. To understand the forces behind this specialization and its welfare consequences, we develop a monopolistic competition model of trade and multinational production (MP) in which firms face a tradeoff between producing close to customers and producing in the least-cost location. At the country level, the location of innovation and production is determined by comparative advantage and home market effects that arise from the interaction of trade and MP costs with increasing returns to scale. The model yields simple structural expressions for bilateral trade and MP that we use to calibrate the model across a set of OECD countries. Our counterfactual exercises shed light on the effect of falling MP costs, and the entry of China into world markets, on welfare between and within countries.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18972.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18972
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  1. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
  2. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078.
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  8. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Erik Hurst & Charles I. Jones & Peter J. Klenow, 2013. "The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 18693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Robert Dekle & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2008. "Global Rebalancing with Gravity: Measuring the Burden of Adjustment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(3), pages 511-540, July.
  13. Irarrazabal, Alfonso & Moxnes, Andreas & Opromolla, Luca David, 2009. "The Margins of Multinational Production and the Role of Intra-firm trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 7145, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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