20 Years of Arnoldshain Seminar
“20 Years of Challenges for Integration, Globalization, and Development”
September 14 – 18, 2015
Frankfurt and Arnoldshain / Taunus

Abeliansky, Ana Lucia    
AbstracttitleThe impact of 3D printing on trade and FDI
Coco-authored with Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso, Klaus Prettner
ShortabstractThis 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 gener- ates three main predictions. First, the model predicts that 3D printers are introduced in areas with high economic activity and subject to high transport costs. Secondly, technological progress related to 3D printing machines leads to a gradual replacement of FDI using traditional production structures with FDI using 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 ac- tivity are indeed among the ones that import more 3D printers.