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Does globalization lead to specialization?


  • Eckel, Carsten


The relationship between market integration and the degree of specialization plays a key role in many areas of economics. In contrast to previous studies, we illustrate that globalization does not necessarily lead to specialization. The analysis is conducted in an extended Dixit-Stiglitz- Ethier framework. Whether globalization leads to specialization or to more integrated production structures depends on characteristics of the cost function and on firm behavior. By comparing these changes to the optimal degree of specialization we show that globalization can reduce the efficiency of the industrial structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckel, Carsten, 2003. "Does globalization lead to specialization?," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 20, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:20

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    1. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy without Government Commitment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 322-338, October.
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    8. Elberfeld, Walter, 2002. "Market Size and Vertical Integration: Stigler's Hypothesis Reconsidered," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 23-42, March.
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    13. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2005. "Vertical Production Networks in Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 664-678, November.
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    16. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-121, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Alfaro & Andrés Rodriguez-Clare, 2004. "Multinationals and Linkages: An Empirical Investigation," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 113-169, January.
    2. Cheng-Te Lee & Deng-Shing Huang, 2017. "Asymmetric Globalization and Specialization," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 17-A004, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.

    More about this item


    Fragmentation; Specialization; Market Integration; Globalization; Vertical Equilibrium; Economies of Scale;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure


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