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International Fragmentation and Agglomeration: From Theory to Empirics


  • Marco Giansoldati

    () (Department of Economics, University Of Venice C� Foscari)


This paper deals with fragmentation both theoretically and empirically. Not only it presents a picture of the existing literature on the field but it also provides some basic hints for future investigation. It pays particular attention to the possible theoretical dichotomy between fragmentation and agglomeration, whilst supplying empirical evidence in support of their coexistence. Moreover, the paper focuses on the linkages between fragmentation and trade, with an emphasis on vertical intra-industry trade in intermediates. Eventually, the contribution stresses that much more attention should be paid on how fragmentation shapes the role of industrial districts within the international organisation of production. Further investigation from different strands of literature (GVCs and GPNs) is needed to shed some light on the role of local production systems in the global architecture of manufactures.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Giansoldati, 2010. "International Fragmentation and Agglomeration: From Theory to Empirics," Working Papers 2010_06, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  • Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2010_06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jones, Ronald & Kierzkowski, Henryk & Lurong, Chen, 2005. "What does evidence tell us about fragmentation and outsourcing?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 305-316.
    2. 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.
    3. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
    4. Kimura, Fukunari & Takahashi, Yuya & Hayakawa, Kazunobu, 2007. "Fragmentation and parts and components trade: Comparison between East Asia and Europe," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 23-40, February.
    5. Ando, Mitsuyo, 2006. "Fragmentation and vertical intra-industry trade in East Asia," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 257-281, December.
    6. Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Kimura, Fukunari & Ando, Mitsuyo, 2005. "Two-dimensional fragmentation in East Asia: Conceptual framework and empirics," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 317-348.
    8. Athukorala, Prema-chandra & Yamashita, Nobuaki, 2006. "Production fragmentation and trade integration: East Asia in a global context," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 233-256, December.
    9. Dr. Mitsuyo ANDO & Dr. Fukunari Kimura, 2009. "Fragmentation in East Asia: Further Evidence," Working Papers DP-2009-20, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    10. Salvatore Baldone & Fabio Sdogati & Lucia Tajoli, 2001. "Patterns and determinants of international fragmentation of production: Evidence from outward processing trade between the EU and Central Eastern European countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(1), pages 80-104, March.
    11. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1986. "The Multinational Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 805-833.
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    More about this item


    Fragmentation; agglomeration; intra-industry trade; Global Value Chains; Global Production Networks;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements


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