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Product Quality and Firm Heterogeneity in International Trade

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  • Antoine Gervais

Abstract

I develop and implement a methodology for obtaining plant-level estimates of product quality from revenue and physical output data. Intuitively, firms that sell large quantities of output conditional on price are classified as high quality producers. I use this method to decompose cross-plant variation in price and export status into a quality and an efficiency margin. The empirical results show that prices are increasing in quality and decreasing in efficiency. However, selection into exporting is driven mainly by quality. The finding that changes in quality and efficiency have different impact on the firm's export decision is shown to be inconsistent with the traditional iceberg trade cost formulation and points to the importance of per unit transport costs.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2013/CES-WP-13-08.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 13-08.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:13-08

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Cited by:
  1. Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu & Xiaoyan Fan & Shengxing Zhang, 2012. "A Structural Model of Demand, Cost, and Export Market Selection for Chinese Footwear Producers," NBER Working Papers 17725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fan, Haichao & Li, Yao Amber & Yeaple, Stephen, 2013. "Trade Liberalization, Quality, and Export Prices," MPRA Paper 51370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Zhi Yu, 2013. "Exchange rate pass-through, firm heterogeneity and product quality: a theoretical analysis," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 141, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  4. Haichao Fan & Edwin L.-C. Lai & Yao Amber Li, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Quality, and Export Prices: Theory and Evidence from China," CESifo Working Paper Series 4370, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Jennie Bai & Jia Guo & Benjamin Mandel, 2013. "Going global: markups and product quality in the Chinese art market," Staff Reports 614, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Jeff Thurk & Antoine Gervais, 2011. "Product Quality, R&D Investment, and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 1335, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2011. "The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 8677, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jeff Thurk, 2012. "Trade Costs, Innovation, and the Gains from Trade," 2012 Meeting Papers 141, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. James Harrigan & Xiangjun Ma & Victor Shlychkov, 2011. "Export Prices of U.S. Firms," NBER Working Papers 17706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Julien MARTIN & Florian MAYNERIS, 2013. "High-End Variety Exporters Defying Distance: Micro Facts and Macroeconomic Implications," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013027, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  11. Naoto Jinji & Xingyuan Zhang & Shoji Haruna, 2010. "Trade Patterns and International Technology Spillovers:Theory and Evidence from Patent Citations," Discussion papers e-10-006, Graduate School of Economics Project Center, Kyoto University, revised Mar 2011.
  12. Benjamin R. Mandel, 2013. "Chinese exports and U.S. import prices," Staff Reports 591, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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