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Crises and the Collapse of World Trade: the Shift to Lower Quality

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  • Antoine Berthou
  • Charlotte Emlinger

Abstract

One of the most striking features of the crisis that started during the fall of 2008 has been the sharp decrease in the world volume of trade in goods. The collapse of trade values has been even larger, leading to a decrease of import price indices. We argue that the decrease of import price indices can be explained by a decrease of the demand addressed to the most expansive varieties. Descriptive statistics for the EU15 confirm that the decrease in the import price index is mainly due to a loss in market shares by high price varieties. The estimation of import demand equations confirm that higher price varieties report a larger elasticity with respect to GDP variations, as compared to low price varieties. Countries specialized over high quality varieties are expected to lose more trade in periods of global turmoil, and experience a faster recovery.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2010-07.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2010-07

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Keywords: GLOBAL CRISIS; INCOME ELASTICITY; QUALITY LADDERS;

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  1. Lionel Fontagné & Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2007. "Specialisation across Varieties within Products and North-South Competition," Working Papers 2007-06, CEPII research center.
  2. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721 - 765.
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Cited by:
  1. Thannaletchimy Thanagopal, 2011. "Estimating import price elasticity while controlling for quality," Post-Print dumas-00643757, HAL.
  2. Türkcan, Kemal, 2014. "Investigating the Role of Extensive Margin, Intensive Margin, Price and Quantity Components on Turkey’s Export Growth during 1998-2011," MPRA Paper 53292, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. 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).

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