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The Quality and Variety of Exports from New EU Member States: Evidence from Very Disaggregated Data

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  • Konstantins Benkovskis
  • Ramune Rimgailaite

Abstract

According to trade theories, the average quantity of exported goods is not the only parameter of export performance – the variety and quality of exports also play an important role. The goal of this paper is to evaluate the variety and quality of exports from the new EU Member States Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (NMS) in 1999–2009. The analysis is done on the basis of methodology proposed by R. C. Feenstra (1994) and further developed by D. Hummels and P. Klenow (2005), and Ch. Broda and D. E. Weinstein (2006). Although unit values play an important role in defining export quality, the calculations herein take into account also market shares and the level of monopoly power of firms in a particular market. In addition, this study contributes to the existing literature by providing a different way of evaluating the variety assuming that the number of exported brands follows the Poisson distribution. The calculations show that exports from NMSs in 2009 were of lower quality in comparison with German exports: relative quality was ranging between 0.30 and 0.55. It was found that all NMSs significantly increased their average number of brands exported to the EU market; moreover, all NMSs were able to increase the average quality of their exports during the 10-year reference period. Finally, relative quality is much more stable than relative prices, providing evidence that the measure of relative quality developed herein is better than the traditional proxy, i.e. relative export prices, as it does not include relative costs of production but reflects structural factors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Latvijas Banka in its series Working Papers with number 2010/02.

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Date of creation: 20 Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ltv:wpaper:201002

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Keywords: new EU Member States; exports; quality; variety;

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References

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  1. Feenstra, Robert & Hiau Looi Kee, 2004. "Export variety and country productivity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3412, The World Bank.
  2. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  3. Bruce A. Blonigen & Anson Soderbery, 2009. "Measuring the Benefits of Product Variety with an Accurate Variety Set," NBER Working Papers 14956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Michael Funke & Ralf Ruhwedel, 2005. "Export variety and economic growth in East European transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(1), pages 25-50, 01.
  6. Dennis, Allen & Shepherd, Ben, 2007. "Trade costs, barriers to entry, and export diversification in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4368, The World Bank.
  7. Paul S. Armington, 1969. "A Theory of Demand for Products Distinguished by Place of Production (Une théorie de la demande de produits différenciés d'après leur origine) (Una teoría de la demanda de productos dis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 16(1), pages 159-178, March.
  8. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-22, December.
  9. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2008. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," NBER Working Papers 13807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Soderbery, Anson, 2010. "Measuring the benefits of foreign product variety with an accurate variety set," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 168-180, November.
  11. Feenstra, Robert & Hiau Looi Kee, 2004. "On the measurement of product variety in trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3213, The World Bank.
  12. 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.
  13. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  14. Krugman, Paul R, 1981. "Intraindustry Specialization and the Gains from Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 959-73, October.
  15. Leamer, Edward E, 1981. "Is It a Demand Curve, or Is It a Supply Curve? Partial Identification through Inequality Constraints," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 319-27, August.
  16. Mary Amiti & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2009. "Import Competition and Quality Upgrading," NBER Working Papers 15503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Sato, Kazuo, 1976. "The Ideal Log-Change Index Number," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(2), pages 223-28, May.
  19. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gabor Pula & Daniel Santabárbara, 2012. "Is china climbing up the quality ladder?," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1209, Banco de Espa�a.
  2. Konstantins Benkovskis, 2012. "Competitiveness of Latvia's Exporters," Working Papers 2012/03, Latvijas Banka.
  3. Silgoner, Maria & Steiner, Katharina & Wörz, Julia & Schitter, Christian, 2013. "Fishing in the same pool? export strengths and competitiveness of China and CESEE in the EU-15 Market," Working Paper Series 1559, European Central Bank.
  4. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Woerz, 2012. "Evaluation of Non-price Competitiveness of Exports from Central, Eastern and Southeastern European Countries in the EU Market," Working Papers 2012/01, Latvijas Banka.
  5. David Aristei & Davide Castellani & Chiara Franco, 2013. "Firms’ exporting and importing activities: is there a two-way relationship?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 55-84, March.
  6. Francesco Di Comite, 2012. "Measuring quality and non-cost competitiveness at a country-product level," European Economy - Economic Papers 467, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  7. Eleonora Cavallaro & Piero Esposito & Alessia Matano & Marcella Mulino, 2012. "Technological catching up, quality of exports and competitiveness: a sectoral perspective," Working Papers 158, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  8. Benkovskis, Konstantins & Silgoner, Maria & Steiner, Katharina & Wörz, Julia, 2013. "Crowding-out or co-existence? the competitive position of EU members and China in global merchandise trade," Working Paper Series 1617, European Central Bank.
  9. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2011. "How Does Quality Impact on Import Prices?," Working Papers 175, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).

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