Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Is China climbing up the quality ladder?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Pula, Gabor

    ()
    (BOFIT)

  • Daniel Santabarbara, Daniel

    (BOFIT)

Abstract

There is an ongoing debate in the literature about the quality content of Chinese exports and to what extent China imposes a threat to the market positions of advanced economies. While China’s export structure is very similar to that of the advanced world, its export unit values are well below the level of developed economies. Building on the assumption that unit values reflect quality the prevailing view of the literature is that China exports low quality varieties of the same products than its advanced competitors. This paper challenges this view by relaxing the assumption that unit values reflect quality. We derive the quality of Chinese exports to the European Union by estimating disaggregated demand functions from a discrete choice model. The paper has three major findings. First, China’s share on the European Union market is larger than would be justified only by its low average prices, implying that the quality of Chinese exports is high compared to many competitors. Second, China has gained quality relative to other competitors since 1995, indicating that China is climbing up the quality ladder. Finally, our analysis on the supply side determinants reveals that the relatively high quality of Chinese exports is related to processing trade and the increasing role of global production networks in China.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/tutkimus/tutkimusjulkaisut/dp/Documents/2012/dp2312.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 23/2012.

as in new window
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 02 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2012_023

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Bank of Finland, BOFIT, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: + 358 10 831 2268
Fax: + 358 10 831 2294
Email:
Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Chinese exports; vertical product differentiation; quality ladder; global production networks; discrete choice model; COMEXT database;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
  2. Aw, Bee Yan & Roberts, Mark J., 1986. "Measuring quality change in quota-constrained import markets: The Case of U.S. Footwear," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 45-60, August.
  3. Ari Van Assche & Byron Gangnes, 2007. "Electronics Production Upgrading: Is China Exceptional?," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-16, CIRANO.
  4. Peter K. Schott, 2006. "The Relative Sophistication of Chinese Exports," NBER Working Papers 12173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Cardell, N. Scott, 1997. "Variance Components Structures for the Extreme-Value and Logistic Distributions with Application to Models of Heterogeneity," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 185-213, April.
  6. Xu, Bin, 2010. "The sophistication of exports: Is China special?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 482-493, September.
  7. Pula, Gabor & Daniel Santabarbara, Daniel, 2012. "Is China climbing up the quality ladder?," BOFIT Discussion Papers 23/2012, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  8. Amit Khandelwal, 2007. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," 2007 Meeting Papers 244, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
  10. Rodrik, Dani, 2006. "What's So Special about China's Exports?," Working Paper Series rwp06-001, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  11. XU, Bin & LU, Jiangyong, 2009. "Foreign direct investment, processing trade, and the sophistication of China's exports," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 425-439, September.
  12. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  13. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  14. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  15. 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.
  16. Robert Koopman & William Powers & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "Give Credit Where Credit Is Due: Tracing Value Added in Global Production Chains," NBER Working Papers 16426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Xu, Bin, 2010. "Erratum to "The sophistication of exports: Is China special?" [China Economic Review 21 (3) (2010) 482-493]," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 671-672, December.
  18. Jane T. Haltmaier & Shaghil Ahmed & Brahima Coulibaly & Ross Knippenberg & Sylvain Leduc & Mario Marazzi & Beth Anne Wilson, 2007. "The role of China in Asia: engine, conduit, or steamroller?," International Finance Discussion Papers 904, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Lionel Fontagné & Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2008. "Specialization across varieties and North-South competition," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 23, pages 51-91, 01.
  20. Randi Boorstein & Robert C. Feenstra, 1987. "Quality Upgrading and its Welfare Cost in U.S. Steel Imports, 1969-74," NBER Working Papers 2452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Kai Guo & Papa N'Diaye, 2009. "Is China's Export-Oriented Growth Sustainable?," IMF Working Papers 09/172, International Monetary Fund.
  22. Ursel Baumann & Filippo di Mauro, 2007. "Globalisation and euro area trade: Interactions and challenges," Occasional Paper Series 55, European Central Bank.
  23. David Roland Holst & John Weiss, 2004. "ASEAN and China: Export Rivals or Partners in Regional Growth?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(8), pages 1255-1274, 08.
  24. Aiginger, Karl, 1997. "The Use of Unit Values to Discriminate between Price and Quality Competition," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(5), pages 571-92, September.
  25. Barry Eichengreen & Yeongseop Rhee & Hui Tong, 2004. "The Impact of China on the Exports of Other Asian Countries," NBER Working Papers 10768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2012. "Non-Price Competitiveness of Exports from Emerging Countries," FIW Working Paper series 100, FIW.
  2. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Viani, Francesca, 2011. "The International Risk-Sharing Puzzle is at Business Cycle and Lower Frequency," CEPR Discussion Papers 8355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Dorrucci, Ettore & Pula, Gabor & Santabárbara, Daniel, 2013. "China's economic growth and rebalancing," Occasional Paper Series 142, European Central Bank.
  4. Benkovskis, Konstantins & Wörz, Julia, 2014. "What drives the market share changes? price versus non-price factors," Working Paper Series 1640, European Central Bank.
  5. Giorgia Giovannetti & Marco Sanfilippo & Margherita Velucchi, 2011. "The “China effect” on EU Exports to OECD markets – A focus on Italy," Working Papers - Economics wp2011_17.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  6. LATZER, Hélène & MAYNERIS, Florian, 2012. "Income distribution and vertical comparative advantage. Theory and evidence," CORE Discussion Papers 2012034, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Pula, Gabor & Daniel Santabarbara, Daniel, 2012. "Is China climbing up the quality ladder?," BOFIT Discussion Papers 23/2012, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  8. Giorgia Giovannetti, Marco Sanfilippo and Margherita Velucchi, 2012. "The impact of China on manufacturing exports of Italy and Germany," RSCAS Working Papers 2012/26, European University Institute.
  9. Jose Maria Casado, 2012. "Consumption partial insurance of Spanish households," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1214, Banco de Espa�a.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2012_023. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Päivi Määttä).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.