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International Competition in Vertically Differentiated Markets with Innovation and Imitation: Trade Policy versus Free Trade

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  • Eugen Kovac
  • Kresimir Zigic

Abstract

The important characteristic of international competition between developed and less developed countries is vertical product differentiation, where firms' quality choices represent strategic decisions. Unlike the previous literature, we allow for a leadership in quality choice and the possibility of imitation and learning by the domestic firm. We compare both positive and normative aspects of this setup in the free trade and the strategic trade policy regime and show that the value of leadership may change dramatically when moving from free trade to trade policy. We also identify conditions under which trade policy can initiate the change in the quality ladders (known as quality reversal) and demonstrate that such a policy has a somewhat limited scope to achieve it. Thus, free trade can still be an optimal trade arrangement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp336.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp336

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Related research

Keywords: Vertical differentiation; free trade; strategic trade policy; quality rever-sal; leadership; imitation.;

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References

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  1. Alireza Naghavi, 2005. "Strategic Intellectual Property Rights Policy and North-South Technology Transfer," Working Papers 2005.18, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  3. Herguera, Inigo & Kujal, Praveen & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2002. "Tariffs, quality reversals and exit in vertically differentiated industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 467-492, December.
  4. Pepall, Lynne, 1997. "Imitative Competition and Product Innovation in a Duopoly Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 265-79, May.
  5. Federico Etro, 2004. "Innovation by leaders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 281-303, 04.
  6. Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose Luis & Viaene, Jean-Marie, 2005. "Trade policy and quality leadership in transition economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 359-385, February.
  7. Thomas J. Prusa & Reiko Aoki, 1997. "Sequential vs. Simultaneous Choice With Endogenous Quality," Departmental Working Papers 199510, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  8. Bhattacharjea, Aditya, 1995. "Strategic tariffs and endogenous market structures: Trade and industrial policies under imperfect competition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 287-312, August.
  9. Ulrich Lehmann-Grube, 1997. "Strategic Choice of Quality When Quality is Costly: The Persistence of the High-Quality Advantage," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 372-384, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. Rajat Acharyya & Maria D.C. Garcia-Alonso, 2009. "Weak IPR and Imitation in the South and International Exhaustion of Patent Rights in the North for Innovated Drugs: A Policy Game," Studies in Economics 0919, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. Hodaka Morita & Xuan Nguyen, 2012. "FDI and Technology Spillovers under Vertical Product Di erentiation," Discussion Papers 2012-19, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

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