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Import Competition and Quality Upgrading

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  • Mary Amiti

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York and CEPR)

  • Amit K. Khandelwal

    (Columbia Business School and NBER)

Abstract

The production of high-quality goods is often viewed as a precondition for export success and economic development. We provide the first evidence that countries' import tariffs affect the rate at which they upgrade product quality. Our analysis uses highly disaggregated data covering exports from 56 countries across 10,000 products to the United States using a novel approach to measure quality. As predicted by distance-to-the-frontier models, we find that lower tariffs are associated with quality upgrading for products close to the world quality frontier, whereas lower tariffs discourage quality upgrading for products distant from the frontier. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 476-490

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:2:p:476-490

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Related research

Keywords: quality upgrading; import competition; proximity to frontier; growth politics;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Amit Khandelwal, 2009. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," NBER Working Papers 15178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Colantone, Italo & Crinò, Rosario, 2014. "New imported inputs, new domestic products," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 147-165.
  3. Elisaveta Archanskaia & Guillaume Daudin, 2012. "Heterogeneity and the Distance Puzzle," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2012-17, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  4. Konstantins Benkovskis & Ramune Rimgailaite, 2010. "The Quality and Variety of Exports from New EU Member States: Evidence from Very Disaggregated Data," Working Papers 2010/02, Latvijas Banka.
  5. Olper, Alessandro & Curzi, Daniele & Pacca, Lucia, 2014. "Do food standards affect the quality of EU imports?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 233-237.
  6. Bloom, Nicholas & Draca, Mirko & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Trade induced technical change? The impact of Chinese imports on innovation, IT and productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 8236, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis, 2012. "International Prices and Endogenous Quality," NBER Working Papers 18314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John Sutton & Daniel Trefler, 2011. "Deductions from the Export Basket: Capabilities, Wealth and Trade," NBER Working Papers 16834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Nakhoda, Aadil, 2012. "The influence of financial leverage of firms on their international trading activities," MPRA Paper 35765, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Martin, Julien & Mejean, Isabelle, 2014. "Low-wage country competition and the quality content of high-wage country exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 140-152.

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