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Measuring quality and non-cost competitiveness at a country-product level

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  • Francesco Di Comite

Abstract

This paper contributes to the ongoing debate on macroeconomic imbalances and external competitiveness by developing a set of indicators of export capability at a country-product level which can be used to complement the existing toolkit of instruments based mostly on unit labour costs and relative price levels. A micro-founded methodology is here proposed to extract information on the capacity of a country's exporters to compete abroad by combining trade and macroeconomic data. In particular, light is shed on two independent components of demand for a particular variety (country-product combination): markups-shifting "quality" and sales-boosting "non-cost competitiveness". Together with cost efficiency and information on foreign prices and consumption, these additional indicators may foster our understanding of the determinants of a country's external position, thus providing better guidance for policymaking.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 467.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0467

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  1. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  2. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  4. Fajgelbaum, Pablo & Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 2011. "Income distribution, product quality, and international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5843, The World Bank.
  5. Foster, Lucia & Haltiwanger, John C. & Syverson, Chad, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," IZA Discussion Papers 1705, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  7. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2012. "Non-Price Competitiveness Gains of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European Countries in the EU Market," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 27-47.
  8. David E. Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization And The Gains From Variety," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 327, Econometric Society.
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  10. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Hiau Looi Kee & Kala Krishna, 2007. "Firm Level Heterogeneous Productivity and Demand Shocks: Evidence from Bangladesh," NBER Working Papers 13698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1998. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 1903, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Robert C. Feenstra & David E. Weinstein, 2010. "Globalization, Markups and U.S. Welfare," NBER Working Papers 15749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis, 2012. "International Prices and Endogenous Quality," NBER Working Papers 18314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  19. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
  20. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2011. "Zeros, Quality, and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 60-88, May.
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