Innovation and Production in the Global Economy
NBER Working Paper No. 18972
One feature of globalization is that countries are increasingly specialized in either innovation or in production. To understand the forces behind this specialization and its welfare consequences, we develop a monopolistic competition model of trade and multinational production (MP) in which firms face a tradeoff between producing close to customers and producing in the least-cost location. At the country level, the location of innovation and production is determined by comparative advantage and home market effects that arise from the interaction of trade and MP costs with increasing returns to scale. The model yields simple structural expressions for bilateral trade and MP that we use to calibrate the model across a set of OECD countries. Our counterfactual exercises shed light on the effect of falling MP costs, and the entry of China into world markets, on welfare between and within countries.
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