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Evaluation of Non-price Competitiveness of Exports from Central, Eastern and Southeastern European Countries in the EU Market

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  • Konstantins Benkovskis
  • Julia Woerz

Abstract

We propose an export price indicator adjusted for non-price factors as a measure of a country's competitiveness. Based on the approach by Broda and Weinstein (2006) who adjust price developments for changes in varieties of imported products, we relax their assumption of unchanged quality over time and apply this index to export prices of the ten CESEE EU Member States which acceded in 2004 and 2007. The index is calculated using data from Comext at the highly disaggregated eight-digit CN product level. Our analysis spans the time period from 1999 to 2010, thus including the recent global recession in 2009. The results show that all CESEE10 countries experienced loss in price competitiveness, although much smaller than is usually suggested by the traditional CPI-based or ULC-based real effective exchange rate measures. Although relative export prices (unit values) increased stronger in CESEE10 countries as compared with their competitors, the average quality of their goods increased even more, thus fully compensating for the rise in prices. These improvements in non-price competitiveness were pronounced in all CESEE10 countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Latvijas Banka in its series Working Papers with number 2012/01.

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Date of creation: 13 Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ltv:wpaper:201201

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Keywords: non-price competitiveness; quality; relative export price;

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References

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  1. Michael A. Landesmann & Robert Stehrer, 2002. "Evolving Competitiveness of CEEC’s in an Enlarged Europe," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 92(1), pages 23-88, January-F.
  2. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "Concording U.S. Harmonized System Categories Over Time," NBER Working Papers 14837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sato, Kazuo, 1976. "The Ideal Log-Change Index Number," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(2), pages 223-28, May.
  4. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Chonira Aturupane & Simeon Djankov & Bernard Hoekman, 1999. "Horizontal and vertical intra-industry trade between Eastern Europe and the European union," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 62-81, March.
  6. Konstantins Benkovskis & Ramune Rimgailaite, 2011. "The quality and variety of exports from the new EU member states," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(4), pages 723-747, October.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Uwe Dulleck & Neil Foster & Robert Stehrer & Julia Woerz, 2005. "Dimensions of quality upgrading," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(1), pages 51-76, 01.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Ashoka Mody & Deniz Igan & Stefania Fabrizio, 2007. "The Dynamics of Product Quality and International Competitiveness," IMF Working Papers 07/97, International Monetary Fund.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2011. "How Does Quality Impact on Import Prices?," Working Papers 175, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  16. Mohler, Lukas & Seitz, Michael, 2010. "The Gains from Variety in the European Union," Discussion Papers in Economics 11477, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Konstantīns Beņkovskis, 2012. "Competitiveness of Latvia's exporters," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 17-45, December.
  2. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2012. "Non-Price Competitiveness of Exports from Emerging Countries," FIW Working Paper series 100, FIW.
  3. 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.
  4. Vasily Astrov & Sandor Richter & Arno Tausch, 2013. "Monthly Report No. 2/2013," wiiw Monthly Reports 2013-02, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  5. Katalin Bodnár & György Molnár & Gábor Pellényi & Lajos Szabó & Judit Várhegyi, 2013. "Dynamics of the trade balance and developments in exports and imports," MNB Bulletin, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary), vol. 8(Special), pages 37-45, October.

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