The Impact of 3D Printing on Trade and FDI

39 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2015

See all articles by Ana Abeliansky

Ana Abeliansky

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) - School of Law, Economics, Social Sciences; Jaume I University - Department of Economics

Klaus Prettner

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 30, 2015

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of 3D printing technologies on the volume of trade and on the structure of FDI. A standard model with firm-specific heterogeneity generates three main predictions. First, 3D printers are introduced in areas with high economic activity that also face high transport costs. Second, technological progress related to 3D printing machines leads to a gradual replacement of FDI that relies on traditional production structures with FDI based on 3D printing techniques. At this stage international trade stays unaffected. Finally, at later stages, with 3D printing machines being widely used, further technological progress in 3D printing leads to a gradual replacement of international trade. Empirical evidence indicates that countries subject to higher transport costs and with high levels of economic activity are indeed among the ones that import more 3D printers. Anecdotal evidence also supports the second and third predictions of the model.

Keywords: 3D printing, FDI, trade, technological change, transport costs

JEL Classification: F10, F23, O33

Suggested Citation

Abeliansky, Ana and Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada and Prettner, Klaus, The Impact of 3D Printing on Trade and FDI (October 30, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2684007 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2684007

Ana Abeliansky (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) - School of Law, Economics, Social Sciences ( email )

Germany

Jaume I University - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus del Riu Sec.
E-12071 Castellon
Spain

Klaus Prettner

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Augasse 2-6
A-1090 Wien
Austria

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
314
Abstract Views
2,080
rank
132,296
PlumX Metrics