NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Market Size, Division of Labor, and Firm Productivity

Thomas Chaney, Ralph Ossa

NBER Working Paper No. 18243
Issued in July 2012
NBER Program(s):   IO   ITI

We generalize Krugman's (1979) 'new trade' model by allowing for an explicit production chain in which a range of tasks is performed sequentially by a number of specialized teams. We demonstrate that an increase in market size induces a deeper division of labor among these teams which leads to an increase in firm productivity. The paper can be thought of as a formalization of Smith's (1776) famous theorem that the division of labor is limited by the extent of the market. It also sheds light on how market size differences can limit the scope for international technology transfers.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18243

Published: Chaney, Thomas & Ossa, Ralph, 2013. "Market size, division of labor, and firm productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 177-180.

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