Intraindustry Trade and Theory
In a recent issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, two Stanford graduate students, Joshua Gans and George Shepherd (1993), write about the difficulties that eminent economists had in getting their ideas published in the mainstream professional journals. They focus on papers containing unfamiliar ideas that have yet no resonance for the profession trapped in "conventional wisdom". But they ignore the difficulty that sometimes attends publishing papers that challenge an orthodoxy that is newly established, no matter how penetrating and persuasive the critique is, simply because the challenge is seen as emanating from the "old and obsolete school". This latter has been the fate of John Chipman's important work on intra-industry trade which refuted the new orthodoxy among the younger trade theorists working with models of imperfect competition, that perfectly competitive models could not generate intra-industry trade. Rejected by referees on grounds that Chipman's results were "uninteresting" or "wrong" or "obvious" or attacking "straw men," and published in consequence in volumes and exotic journals, this work remains a major contribution. This festschrift provides an appropriate place and occasion to resurrect that work, put it into context, and to reshape and extend it analytically.
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