Scale Economies, Intra-Industry Trade And Industry Location In The "New Trade Theory"
This paper exposes some common misinterpretations of the "new trade theory". First, the view that high scale economies give rise to high levels of intra-industry trade is challenged. It is shown that the monopolistic-competition trade model predicts a negative relationship between internal scale economies and intra-industry trade. Second, in spite of a common perception that the "new" theory explains ever growing levels of intra-industry trade in an integrating world economy, a scrutiny of the basic model indicates that reduced distance costs result in lower intra-industry trade. However, if temporary re-location rigidities are considered, integration entails an initial surge of intra-industry trade, which eventually withers away, when the centripetal forces towards inter-industry specialisation take over. This might contribute towards an explanation for observed reversals of intra-industry trade growth among industrial countries.
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