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Competition and Human Capital Accumulation: A Theory of Interregional Specialization and Trade

  • Julio J. Rotemberg
  • Garth Saloner

We consider a model with several regions whose technological ability and factor endowments are identical and in which transport costs between regions are non-negligible. Nonetheless, certain goods are sometimes produced by multiple firms all of which are located in the same region. These goods are then exported from the regions in which their production is agglomerated. Regional agglomeration of production and trade stem from two forces. First, competition between firms for the services of trained workers is necessary for the workers to recoup the cost of acquiring industry-specific human capital. Second, the technology of production is more efficient when plants are larger than a minimum efficient scale and local demand is insufficient to support several firms of that scale. We also study the policy implications of our model.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3228.

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Date of creation: Jan 1990
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Publication status: published as Rotemberg, Julio J. and Garth Saloner. "Competition And Human Capital Accumulation: A Theory Of Interregional Specialization And Trade," Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2000, v30(4,Jul), 373-404.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3228
Note: LS ITI IFM
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  1. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1984. "Standardization, Compatibility and Innovation," Working papers 345, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. James R. Markusen & James R. Melvin, 1981. "Trade, Factor Prices, and the Gains from Trade with Increasing Returns to Scale," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 14(3), pages 450-69, August.
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  7. James R. Markusen & Arthur J. Robson, 1980. "Simple General Equilibrium and Trade with a Monopsonized Sector," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(4), pages 668-82, November.
  8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  9. McCulloch, Rachel & Yellen, Janet L., 1980. "Factor market monopsony and the allocation of resources," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 237-247, May.
  10. Venables, Anthony J, 1987. "Trade and Trade Policy with Differentiated Products: A Chamberlinian-Ricardian Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 700-717, September.
  11. Lapan, Harvey E, 1988. "The Optimal Tariff, Production Lags, and Time Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 395-401, June.
  12. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Feenstra, Robert C., 1980. "Monopsony distortions in an open economy: A theoretical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 213-235, May.
  14. Dudey, Marc, 1990. "Competition by Choice: The Effect of Consumer Search on Firm Location Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1092-1104, December.
  15. James R. Melvin, 1969. "Increasing Returns to Scale as a Determinant of Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 2(3), pages 389-402, August.
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