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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. 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.
  2. Birgit Grodal & Egbert Dierker, 1999. "The price normalization problem in imperfect competition and the objective of the firm," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 14(2), pages 257-284.
  3. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  6. Roberts, John & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1977. "On the Foundations of the Theory of Monopolistic Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 101-13, January.
  7. Alan V. Deardorff, 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Working Papers 5377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Paul Krugman, 1986. "Industrial Organization and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 1957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
  10. J. Peter Neary, 1995. "Factor Mobility and International Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(s1), pages 4-23, November.
  11. Elhanan Helpman, 1998. "The Structure of Foreign Trade," NBER Working Papers 6752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1986. "The Multinational Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 805-833.
  14. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1995. "Complementarities and Cumulative Processes in Models of Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 701-729, June.
  15. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  16. 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.
  17. Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
  18. Francois, Patrick & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "On the protection of cultural goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 359-369, March.
  19. Leamer, E. & Levingsohn, J., 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," Working Papers 368, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Neary, J Peter, 2001. "Competition, Trade and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 2732, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Market Access, Economic Geography, and Comparative Advantage: An Empirical Assessment," NBER Working Papers 6787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
  31. Bohm Volker, 1994. "The Foundation of the Theory of Monopolistic Competition Revisited," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 208-218, August.
  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. 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.
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