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Product Differentiation and the Location of International Production

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  • Gianni De Fraja
  • George Norman

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Abstract

We analyze how product differentiation influences firms' choice between exporting and foreign direct investment. When product specifications are determined endogenously, we show that there is no symmetric solution to the product specification subgame. The cost disadvantage of an exporting firm translates into a disadvantage in product specification. Overseas production is favored if this allows the investing firm to adopt a more aggressive product specification. Our analysis suggests an ambiguous relationship among location, product differentiation, and cost and demand functions, confirmed by the existence of a parameter range for which there is no pure strategy equilibrium in location choice. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA, and 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK..
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  • Gianni De Fraja & George Norman, 1998. "Product Differentiation and the Location of International Production," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9814, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:9814
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Motta, Massimo, 1992. "Multinational firms and the tariff-jumping argument : A game theoretic analysis with some unconventional conclusions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1557-1571, December.
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    3. Hummels, David & Levinsohn, James A, 1993. "Product Differentiation as a," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 445-449, May.
    4. Schmitt, Nicolas, 1995. "Product Imitation, Product Differentiation and International Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 583-608, August.
    5. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-366, May.
    6. Motta, Massimo & Norman, George, 1996. "Does Economic Integration Cause Foreign Direct Investment?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 757-783, November.
    7. George Norman, 1983. "Spatial Pricing with Differentiated Products," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 291-310.
    8. Lambertini, Luca & Rossini, Gianpaolo, 1998. "Product homogeneity as a prisoner's dilemma in a duopoly with R&D," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 297-301, March.
    9. Rowthorn, R E, 1992. "Intra-industry Trade and Investment under Oligopoly: The Role of Market Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 402-414, March.
    10. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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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.
    2. Emanuele Bacchiega & Antonio Minniti & Arsen Palestini, 2016. "Quality, distance and trade: A strategic approach," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95, pages 165-191, March.
    3. Collie, D. & Vandenbussche, H., 1999. "Trade, FDI, and unions," Discussion Paper 1999-42, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. 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.

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