Market Size, Division of Labor, and Firm Productivity
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.
We are grateful to Pol Antras, Holger Breinlich, Alejandro Cunat, Elhanan Helpman, Gianmarco Ottaviano, Henry Overman, Stephen Redding, and Tony Venables. We also thank the editor, Robert W. Staiger, and two anonymous referees, for their thoughtful comments. All remaining errors are ours. This work extends the second chapter of Ossa's Ph.D. dissertation originally entitled "Trade Liberalization, Outsourcing, and Firm Productivity". The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Chaney, Thomas & Ossa, Ralph, 2013. "Market size, division of labor, and firm productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 177-180. citation courtesy of