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The Effect of Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality on the Direction of International Trade 2002

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  • Juan Carlos Hallak

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Despite considerable theoretical work predicting that product quality plays an important role in determining the direction of international trade, there is no empirical evidence on the existence and magnitude of such a quality e.ect on trade. In this paper, I provide a framework to estimate the impact of cross-country di.erences in product quality on bilateral trade flows. The model allows countries to di.er both in the quality of goods they produce and in their aggregate demand for quality. It also takes into account other determinants of international trade, such as di.erences in factor proportions. I estimate the model using cross-sectional data on bilateral trade flows at the sectoral level. The empirical results confirm the theoretical prediction: rich countries import relatively more from countries that produce high-quality goods. Even though traditional determinants of comparative advantage are still the main driving force of trade, quality di.erences between countries have a significant e.ect on the pattern of international trade flows.

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File URL: http://fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers476-500/r493.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 493.

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Length: 54 Pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:493

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Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/
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  1. 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.
  2. James Levinsohn & Steven Berry & Ariel Pakes, 1999. "Voluntary Export Restraints on Automobiles: Evaluating a Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 400-430, June.
  3. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1989. "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 143-53, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina, 2002. "Assessing the impact of communication costs on international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2929, The World Bank.
  2. Carsten Fink & Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Income-Related Biases in International Trade: What Do Trademark Registration Data Tell Us?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 79-103, April.
  3. Juan Carlos Hallak, 2004. "Product Quality, Linder, and the Direction of Trade," NBER Working Papers 10877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Peter McQuade, 2010. "The Evolution of International Trade on the Extensive and Intensive Margins," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp325, IIIS, revised Apr 2010.
  5. Baroncelli, Eugenia & Krivonos, Ekaterina & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Trademark protection or protectionism?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3214, The World Bank.
  6. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  7. Iheb FRIJA, 2008. "La compétitivité de l'industrie d'habillement tunisienne. Atouts et limites (The tunisian clothing industry competitiveness : assets and limits)," Working Papers 200, Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO / Research Unit on Industry and Innovation.
  8. Huiwen Lai & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "The Gains from Trade with Monopolistic Competition: Specification, Estimation, and Mis-Specification," NBER Working Papers 9169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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