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Multi-product firms and flexible manufacturing in the global economy

Author

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  • Carsten Eckel
  • J. Peter Neary

Abstract

We present a new model of multi-product firms (MPFs) and flexible manufacturing and explore its implications in partial and general equilibrium. International trade integration affects the scale and scope of MPFs through a competition effect and a demand effect. We demonstrate how MPFs adjust in the presence of single-product firms and in heterogeneous industries. Our results are in line with recent empirical evidence and suggest that MPFs in conjunction with flexible manufacturing play an important role in the impact of international trade on product diversity.

Suggested Citation

  • Carsten Eckel & J. Peter Neary, 2006. "Multi-product firms and flexible manufacturing in the global economy," Working Papers 200608, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200608
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/1793
    File Function: First version, 2006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. Peter Neary, 2016. "International Trade in General Oligopolistic Equilibrium," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 669-698, September.
    2. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    3. Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2003. "Multiproduct Quality Competition: Fighting Brands and Product Line Pruning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 748-774, June.
    4. Brander, James A & Eaton, Jonathan, 1984. "Product Line Rivalry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 323-334, June.
    5. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2009. "The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 557-592 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ottaviano, G.I.P. & Thisse, J.-F., 1999. "Monopolistic Competition, Multiproduct Firms and Optimum Product Diversity," Economics Working Papers eco99/31, European University Institute.
    7. Carsten Eckel, 2009. "International trade, flexible manufacturing, and outsourcing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1449-1472, November.
    8. Baldwin, Richard E. & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P., 2001. "Multiproduct multinationals and reciprocal FDI dumping," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 429-448, August.
    9. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Multiproduct Firms and Trade Liberalization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1271-1318.
    10. Norman, George & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1999. "Technology Choice and Market Structure: Strategic Aspects of Flexible Manufacturing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 345-372, September.
    11. Eaton, B Curtis & Schmitt, Nicolas, 1994. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 875-888, September.
    12. Allanson, Paul & Montagna, Catia, 2005. "Multiproduct firms and market structure: An explorative application to the product life cycle," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 587-597, September.
    13. Jiandong Ju, 2003. "Oligopolistic Competition, Technology Innovation, and Multiproduct Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 346-359, May.
    14. Volker Grossmann, 2003. "Firm Size and Diversification: Asymmetric Multiproduct Firms under Cournot Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1047, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-528, June.
    16. David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2005. "Multiproduct Cournot Oligopoly," Economics Series Working Papers 145, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multi-product firms; Flexible manufacturing; General oligoplistic equilibrium (GOLE); International trade; Product diversity; Multiproduct firms; Flexible manufacturing systems; Equilibrium (Economics); International trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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