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Monopolistic competition and international trade theory

  • J. Peter Neary

Almost twenty-five years after the appearance of Dixit and Stiglitz’s paper on monopolistic competition and optimum product diversity, I try to take stock of the progres which has been made in applying their approach to international trade theory. I review the principal applications to trade theory and present a new one: by embedding DS preferences in a specific-factors framework, I sketch a model which shows how multinational corporations can emerge even between countries with similar factor endowments. Finally, I address some limitations of the approach, including its treatment of variety, returns to scale, entry and firms’ strategies.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/1254
File Function: First version, 2000
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200025.

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Date of creation: Dec 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200025
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  1. Colin Lawrence & Pablo T. Spiller, 1983. "Product Diversity, Economies of Scale, and International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 63-83.
  2. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
  3. Bohm Volker, 1994. "The Foundation of the Theory of Monopolistic Competition Revisited," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 208-218, August.
  4. Helpman, E., 1998. "The Structure of Foreign Trade," Papers 18-98, Tel Aviv.
  5. d'Aspremont, Claude & Dos Santos Ferreira, Rodolphe & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1996. "On the Dixit-Stiglitz Model of Monopolistic Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 623-29, June.
  6. ROBERTS, John & SONNENSCHEIN, Hugo, . "On the foundations of the theory of monopolistic competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP 296, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Caves, Richard E, 1971. "International Corporations: The Industrial Economics of Foreign Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 38(149), pages 1-27, February.
  8. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. Egbert Dierker & Birgit Grodal, 1996. "The Price Normalization Problem in Imperfect Competition and the Objective of the Firm," Discussion Papers 96-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  10. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  11. J.Peter Neary, 2001. "Of Hype and Hyperbolas: Introducing the New Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 536-561, June.
  12. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  13. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
  14. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1998. "Multinational firms and the new trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-203, December.
  15. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Market Access, Economic Geography and Comparative Advantage: An Empirical Assessment," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1850, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. Kiminiori Matsuyama, 1994. "Complementaries and Cumulative Processes In Models of Monopolistic Competition," Discussion Papers 1106, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Krugman, Paul R, 1981. "Intraindustry Specialization and the Gains from Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 959-73, October.
  18. Neary, J Peter, 2001. "Competition, Trade and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 2732, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Leamer, E. & Levingsohn, J., 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," Working Papers 368, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  20. Krugman, Paul R., 1989. "Industrial organization and international trade," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1179-1223 Elsevier.
  21. Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
  22. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  23. Alan Deardorff, 1998. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 7-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
  25. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  26. J. Peter Neary, 1994. "Factor mobility and international trade," Working Papers 199409, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  27. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
  28. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  30. Francois, Patrick & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "On the protection of cultural goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 359-369, March.
  31. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1986. "The Multinational Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 805-833.
  32. Neary, J Peter, 1978. "Short-Run Capital Specificity and the Pure Theory of International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(351), pages 488-510, September.
  33. Yang, Xiaokai & Heijdra, Ben J, 1993. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 295-301, March.
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