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Gains from specialization and learning

Consider the category of machinery, where the U.S. economy has considerable intra-industry trade. Machinery comes in many varieties, so the United States may be exporting machinery for manufacturing with wood, but importing machinery for photographic processing. The underlying reason why a country like the United States, Japan, or Germany produces one kind of machinery rather than another is usually not related to U.S., German, or Japanese firms and workers having generally higher or lower skills. It is just that, in working on very specific and particular products, firms in certain countries develop unique and different skills.

Specialization in the world economy can be very finely split. In fact, recent years have seen a trend in international trade called splitting up the value chain    . The value chain    describes how a good is produced in stages. As indicated in the beginning of the chapter, the production of the iPhone involves the design and engineering of the phone in the United States, parts supplied from Korea, the assembly of the parts in China, and the advertising and marketing done in the United States. Thanks in large part to improvements in communication technology, sharing information, and transportation, it has become easier to split up the value chain. Instead of production in a single large factory, all of these steps can be split up among different firms operating in different places and even different countries. Because firms split up the value chain, international trade often does not involve whole finished products like automobiles or refrigerators being traded between nations. Instead, it involves shipping more specialized goods like, say, automobile dashboards or the shelving that fits inside refrigerators. Intra-industry trade between similar countries produces economic gains because it allows workers and firms to learn and innovate on particular products—and often to focus on very particular parts of the value chain.

Visit this website for some interesting information about the assembly of the iPhone.

Economies of scale, competition, variety

A second broad reason that intra-industry trade between similar nations produces economic gains involves economies of scale. The concept of economies of scale    , as introduced in Cost and Industry Structure , means that as the scale of output goes up, average costs of production decline—at least up to a point. [link] illustrates economies of scale for a plant producing toaster ovens. The horizontal axis of the figure shows the quantity of production by a certain firm or at a certain manufacturing plant. The vertical axis measures the average cost of production. Production plant S produces a small level of output at 30 units and has an average cost of production of $30 per toaster oven. Plant M produces at a medium level of output at 50 units, and has an average cost of production of $20 per toaster oven. Plant L produces 150 units of output with an average cost of production of only $10 per toaster oven. Although plant V can produce 200 units of output, it still has the same unit cost as Plant L.

Questions & Answers

what's economics
Peace Reply
how do I answer aquestion in econmics
Blessing Reply
A thorough thought through the questions alongside examining ressearch materials.
I what I think is by observing the question and analysing the question and use the economic terms to answer the particular question and what it required for.
why the demand slopping down word? plz I need an answer
as price increases fewer people want to buy it
When the quantity of goods is more, price falls and demand increases. Remember, demand is sensitive to price change and so the curve slopes downward when consumers demand more goods because of price falls. A.E.
what is modelling economics growth?
Dagim Reply
I would like to know
Meaning of a monopolist
Lindah Reply
single line product
I really mean by single line of products in this kind of situation the market as a feature of both perfect and monopoly , as outlined below: it is market with many buyer's and sellers, but: with differentiated commodities(not homogenous). I bet I answered your question. thanks.
it as a feature of both monopoly and perfect market competition.
the differentiation is not so much with technicalities of the commodities but with branding, packing, servicing etc.
what is monopoly
Sewu Reply
Monopoly is a market structure where there is single seller or producer of a commodity which has no close substitute.
explain law of increasing opportunity cost
Glennis Reply
how many labour market are there in Nigeria
Ayinde Reply
what is monopoly?
Prince Reply
it is a type of imperfect market where there are single seller of a product
what is society's basic economic problems?
ABDI Reply
another definition of economic s
Louisa Reply
what is economic s
is the study of the individual interest
or the study of the scarcity
Is an inquiry to the nature and causes of wealth to the nation
economic as social science which covers the actions of individuals and groups of individuals in the processes of producing, exchanging and consuming of goods and services.
compar and contrast the four market structure
The study or principles of the way money, business and industry organized.
what is optimal biomass
Sheikh Reply
biological approach in economics
What is the difference between pure monopoly and natural monopoly
Joseph Reply
what is price elasticity demand
Explain the law of demand
hello my name is Godwin David am an economics student
what's the opportunity cost for free goods?
A free good is a good with zero opportunity cost . This means it can be consumed in as much quantity as needed without reducing its availability to others.
yes tucker, a free good is available without limit therefore, it is not scarce at all. ...Aviation economist.
I'm Daniel
I'm new here
U welcome
what is the demand and supply of QD is equal to 4040 thousand
Prince Reply
uses and limitations of elasticity of demand concept
Elasticity of demand refers to the degree of responsiveness of quantities
grace Reply
Hi everyone

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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