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Low-Wage Countries’ Competition, Reallocation Across Firms and the Quality Content of Exports

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  • Julien Martin
  • Isabelle Méjean

Abstract

We consider the impact of low-wage countries’ competition on the quality content of high-wage countries’ exports. We develop a new method that uses firm-level data to measure quality changes in sectoral exports. Over 1995-2005, we measure a 11% increase in the mean quality of France’s aggregate exports. Quality upgrading is driven by a reallocation of demand in favor of higher quality producers. The phenomenon is significantly more pronounced in markets where the penetration of developing countries has increased while it goes the opposite direction where firms face increased competitive pressures from high-wage countries. These results are consistent with within-product specialization along the vertical dimension. They suggest that, over the period, France has specialized in the production of higher quality goods. In our data, around one fifth of the measured quality improvement in France’s aggregate exports is attributable to low-wage countries’ competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2012-04.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2012-04

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Keywords: Firm-Level Data; Quality Heterogeneity; Low-Wage Countries’ Competition; Within-product specialization;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2013. "Input-Trade Liberalization, Export Prices and Quality Upgrading," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2013-13, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
  2. Gaulier, G. & Santoni, G. & Taglioni, D. & Zignago, S., 2013. "Market Shares in the Wake of the Global Crisis: the Quarterly Export Competitiveness Database," Working papers 472, Banque de France.
  3. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2013. "Input-Trade Liberalization, Export Prices and Quality Upgrading," Sciences Po publications 2013-13, Sciences Po.
  4. Julien Martin & Florian Mayneris, 2013. "High-End Variety Exporters Defying Distance : Micro Facts and Macroeconomic Implications," Working Papers hal-00959404, HAL.
  5. Franco Amatori & Matteo Bugamelli & Andrea Colli, 2011. "Italian Firms in History: Size, Technology and Entrepreneurship," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 13, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. MARTIN, Julien & MAYNERIS , Florian & ,, 2013. "High-end variety exporters defying distance: micro facts and macroeconomic implications," CORE Discussion Papers 2013061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Giorgia Giovannetti & Marco Sanfilippo, 2013. "China's Competition and the Export Price Strategies of Developed Countries," Working Papers - Economics wp2013_02.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.

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