The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Trade
AbstractNot surprisingly, big countries trade more than small countries. In this paper we use data on shipments by 110 exporters to 59 importers in 5,000 product categories to ask: how? Do big countries trade larger quantities of a common set of goods (the intensive margin), a larger set of goods (the extensive margin), or higher quality goods? We find that the extensive margin accounts for two-thirds of the greater exports of larger economies, and one-third of the greater imports of larger economies. Richer countries export more units at higher prices. These calculations are useful for distinguishing features of trade models that correspond more or less well to the data. Models with Armington national product differentiation do not feature the extensive margin, and wrongly predict that greater output will be accompanied by worse terms of trade. 'Krugman' style models with firm level product differentation fare better, but must be modified to include quality differentiation and fixed costs of trading to match all of the facts. Estimates based on these modifications imply that differences in goods' quality could be the proximate cause of about 25% of country differences in real income per worker.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8712.
Date of creation: Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Hummels, David and Peter J. Klenow. "The Variety And Quality Of A Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, 2005, v95(2,May), 704-723.
Note: EFG ITI
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
- F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-01-22 (All new papers)
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.:
- Keith Head & John Ries, 2001. "Increasing Returns versus National Product Differentiation as an Explanation for the Pattern of U.S.-Canada Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 858-876, September.
- Romer, Paul, 1994.
"New goods, old theory, and the welfare costs of trade restrictions,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 5-38, February.
- Paul M. Romer, 1993. "New Goods, Old Theory, and the Welfare Costs of Trade Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 4452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Melitz, Marc J, 2002.
"The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
- Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Jaume Ventura, 2001.
"The World Income Distribution,"
NBER Working Papers
8083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter K. Schott, 2001. "Do Rich and Poor Countries Specialize in a Different Mix of Goods? Evidence from Product-Level US Trade Data," NBER Working Papers 8492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brown, Drusilla K., 1987. "Tariffs, the terms of trade, and national product differentiation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 503-526.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Dorsati Madani & Tzu-Han Yang & Chi-Yuan Liang, 1997.
"Testing Endogenous Growth in South Korea and Taiwan,"
NBER Working Papers
6028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feenstra, Robert C. & Madani, Dorsati & Yang, Tzu-Han & Liang, Chi-Yuan, 1999. "Testing endogenous growth in South Korea and Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 317-341, December.
- Robert Feenstra & Madani & Dorsati & Yang & Tzu-Han, and Liang, Chi-Yuan, 2003. "Testing Endogenous Growth In South Korea And Taiwan," Working Papers 9716, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Madani & Dorsati & Yang & Tzu-Han & Liang & Chi-Yuan, . "Testing Endogenous Growth In South Korea And Taiwan," Department of Economics 97-16, California Davis - Department of Economics.
- Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
- 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.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.