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Business Groups and Trade in East Asia: Part 1, Networked Equilibria

  • Robert C. Feenstra
  • Deng-Shing Huang
  • Gary G. Hamilton

We propose an economic model of business groups that allows for the cooperative behavior of groups of firms, where the number and size of each group is determined endogenously. In this framework, more than one configuration of groups can arise in equilibrium: several different types of business groups can occur, each of which is consistent with profit-maximization and is stable. This means that the economic logic does not fully determine the industrial structure, leaving scope for political and sociological factors to have a lasting influence. In a companion paper, we argue that the differing structures of business groups found in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan fit the stylized results from the model, and contrast the impact of these groups on the product variety of their country exports to the United States.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5886.

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Date of creation: Jan 1997
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Publication status: Published as "Business Groups and Product Variety in Trade: Evidence from South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan", Journal of International Economics, Vol. 47, no. 2 (April 1999).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5886
Note: ITI
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  1. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  2. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  3. Ariel Pakes & Paul McGuire, 1994. "Computing Markov-Perfect Nash Equilibria: Numerical Implications of a Dynamic Differentiated Product Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(4), pages 555-589, Winter.
  4. Feenstra, R.C. & Yang, T.H. & Hamilton, G.G., 1993. "Market Structure and International Trade: Business Groups in East Asia," Papers 93-23, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
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