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The Seamless World: A Spatial Model of International Specialization

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  • Paul Krugman
  • Anthony J. Venables

Abstract

This paper is an effort to do international trade theory without mentioning countries. Nearly all models of the international economy assume that trade takes place between nations or regions which are themselves dimensionless points. We develop a model in which economic space is instead assumed to be continuous, and in which this 'seamless world' spontaneously organizes itself into industrial and agricultural zones because of the tension between forces of agglomeration and disagglomeration. One might expect such a model to be analytically intractable, but we are able to gain considerable insight through a combination of simulations and an analytical approach originally suggested in a biological context by Alan Turing.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "The Seamless World: A Spatial Model of International Specialization," NBER Working Papers 5220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5220
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-880.
    2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    3. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Courant, Paul N & Deardorff, Alan V, 1992. "International Trade with Lumpy Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 198-210, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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