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The International Strategy of Firms: the Role of Endogenous Product Differentiation

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  • Pierre Blanchard
  • Carl Gaigné
  • Claude Mathieu

Abstract

We study the impact of trade liberalization on the international strategy of firms (to export and/or invest abroad as well as the number of products to be produced and exported) when product differentiation is endogenous. By considering product differentiation as a strategic variable, our analysis sheds new light on the impact of trade barriers on the decision to produce abroad and on the choice of product range, in accordance with recent empirical evidence. Indeed, we show that, even though technology exhibits the same productivity for each variety, firms drop some varieties with trade integration. In addition, our results reveal that, contrary to the standard theoretical literature, the relationship between the decision to export and trade costs is non-linear. When trade costs are relatively high, each firm export and is multi-product. Then, when trade costs take intermediate values, firms may invest abroad and the choice of producing abroad results from a prisoner's dilemma game. Finally, when trade costs are low, firms export but become single-product.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Blanchard & Carl Gaigné & Claude Mathieu, 2010. "The International Strategy of Firms: the Role of Endogenous Product Differentiation," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 10-02, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
  • Handle: RePEc:rae:wpaper:201002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Blanchard, Pierre & Gaigné, Carl & Mathieu, Claude, 2012. "Trade costs and international strategy of firms: The role of endogenous product differentiation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1023-1036.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign direct investment; exports; multi-product competition; endogenous differentiation product; trade integration;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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