• Theories of International Trade

  • Product Life Cycle Theory

       Raymond Vernon developed the international product life cycle theory in the 1960s. The international product life cycle theory stresses that a company will begin to export its product and later take on foreign direct investment as the product moves through its life cycle. Eventually a country's export becomes its import. Although the model is developed around the U.S, it can be generalised and applied to any of the developed and innovative markets of the world.

       The product life cycle theory was developed during the 1960s and focused on the U.S since most innovations came from that market. This was an applicable theory at that time since the U.S dominated the world trade. Today, the U.S is no longer the only innovator of products in the world. Today companies design new products and modify them much quicker than before. Companies are forced to introduce the products in many different markets at the same time to gain cost benefits before its sales declines. The theory does not explain trade patterns of today.