This paper deals with the recent empirical phenomenon of intraindustry trade, i.e. trade in similar goods between similar countries. It treats this phenomenon from the point of view of the theory of structure of production, highlighting the importance of sequential nature of production and heterogeneity and specificity of factors of production, as developed by Carl Menger, Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk and their followers of the so-called Austrian school of economics. Simple theory of production structure, along the lines of Austrian economics, is presented and a useful tool for the analysis of intraindustry trade is developed. In the following discussion we make the case for vertical intraindustry specialization, complex manufactured goods and sliced-up production chains across countries. The reader immediately observes the importance of Austrian production structure theory for the analysis of intraindustry trade. We accordingly apply the concepts of the structure of production on intraindustry trade and analyze, in particular, the time- and place-aspects of international production. Finally, we show the relevance of our approach to intraindustry trade for the analysis of business cycle synchronization and Optimum currency areas theory.
structure of production, capital, Austrian school of economics, intraindustry trade, sliced-up value chains, Optimum currency areas theory, business cycle synchronization, European monetary union
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