Value creation and trade in 21st century manufacturing

The factors responsible for the spatial reorganization of contemporary manufacturing are presented here and the predictive power of long-standing notions of comparative advantage revisited. While a growing number of commercial tasks and technologies are in principle mobile internationally, giving rise to the perception of evermore footloose manufacturing firms and greater job insecurity, there is much in the modern organization of manufacturing that is both viscid and involves location-specific competitive advantages. This calls for a more nuanced assessment of the impact of an open world trading system on the spatial division of labor and on living standards.

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